Grief is such a very hard emotion for me. As a young adult I was always the happy, chipper one. I always had the quick lines and comebacks, and the cheerful silver lining comments to hand out. Any major grieving I did was done alone, in my room, door shut, loud music playing, and my face crammed into a pillow to muffle the sounds of crying.
As I got older, there were times when I would grieve in front of others, but it is still a hugely private thing for me, and it is still hard. I guess I expect to be able to pick myself up and move on with life whenever it demands, sans grief.
This time it is not working out that way.
Today and yesterday I was surrounded by loving, amazing friends and family. I am so incredibly blessed to be cared for by so many intelligent, funny, and neat people. I loved being able to see everyone, and being able to talk to everyone. I have scheduled time to see my family in smaller groups, have plenty of time left for my friends, and am overwhelmed by the love I have available in my life.
Yet here I am, at high tide, thinking about Nick and how much I miss him. It’s as though my grief is like the ocean, the tide of sorrow will ebb long enough for me to really enjoy myself, long enough to feel almost normal, and then will come back in, submerging me in it’s waves, wiping out the footprints I left during the day.
I know it’s only been five months since he died, and that my time since then has been full of new baby, moving, and family life. I know that I am still flush with hormones, that these hormones are probably enhancing or intensifying my emotions. I know I haven’t given myself the time needed to grieve fully, and recover. It’s just I am not sure I can ever grieve fully and recover. I feel as though there will always be this well of sadness waiting to wash over me in my quiet moments.
Today, at my mother’s birthday party, I was speaking with my cousins about Otter’s tendency to lie in his crib, point up at a spot in the ceiling, and talk and smile at it. They said their kids had always done the same thing, and they had always figured the babies were talking to angels or fairies only they could see. Suddenly I thought of Nick. Is Otter talking to Nick when he coos at the spot in the ceiling? Is my friend introducing himself to the baby he was so excited to meet? Is he out there, watching over me and my family in death, as he was so apt to do in life?
It was then that the waves came in, washing the now familiar feeling of sorrow over me, settling into my bones. So it was that I sat, surrounded by so many people who love me, thinking about the one I will never see again.