As I stood at the kitchen sink earlier marveling at the waves of grief washing over my body, I couldn’t help but wonder about the pain I was feeling. Grief really does come to me in waves and the waves are completely unexpected, very badly timed and apparently completely random.
Of course, with my logical mind, I will try to discern a pattern as to when the waves hit (what was I thinking, doing, not doing, not thinking, blah blah blah) so I can try to control them. Once I think I have a pattern figured out, the universe will totally fuck up my logic by changing up the pattern. This is a game I play with the universe where I try to control and the universe kicks my ass.
While I was laughing at myself knowing I was going to engage the universe in a totally losing proposition but not willing to give up, I heard “the hope of grief.”
Hmmm…that’s really an interesting statement: the hope of grief.
As I began to ponder, the story immediately crystalized.
It was about 6 years ago now when Allan was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver. He left it untreated and about 3 years ago, he got noticeably sicker and I naturally left the role of wife and took up the role of caretaker.
The role of caretaker is a difficult role and we are blessed in this world to have people who voluntarily fill this role for us and our loved ones. God bless them for they truly are angels walking the planet.
As the caretaker for someone I loved deeply, I unconsciously stopped loving from my heart and began living from the head. The survival instinct kicked in because if I lived from my heart, I would be always crying and I didn’t have time for that. Allan needed me to be strong and so strong I became…right up until he took his last breath. I was by his side almost every day for the last 2 years 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I did was I thought was best for both of us at the time.
Slowly, over the last 7 months, my heart has begun to open up again and with it comes the grief, the pain, the despair, the loneliness and the sorrow. Deep, soul wrenching, breath stealing and more overwhelming that I could ever think possible.
So universe, how is grief giving me hope?
Answer: I am moving from my head space back to living from the heart.
How do I know? Because I am feeling again. Every time a wave of grief hits, it means my body is letting go and will hold less grief for the next wave. Over time, the waves will lessen until they eventually stop. My heart will hurt less until eventually it begins to fully love again and despair, loneliness and sorrow will be replaced with hope, happiness and joy.
How much time this transition will take, I do not know but I cling to the hope of grief.