Monday, March 12, 2012

What does grief feel like?

It feels like I am walking around with a hole in my chest. Not a little hole where my heart used to be - a big gaping hole that you can see straight through.
It feels like the roof has been blown of the top of my house and I am still expected to carry on as though life were still normal.
I could go on with the metaphors but I think you get the picture.
Life is not right any more. I used to go about my daily routine and have this feeling of safety, normalcy, home-ness that surrounded me that I took for granted. Something would catch my eye, or I'd hear something and my first instinct would be to tell myself to remember to share it with John later that day.
If I had to leave to go somewhere, as I pulled my car out of the driveway, I'd look back and John would be at his make-shift worktable in the garage working on a car part he was refurbishing and he'd smile and wave at me as I pulled away and I'd wave and smile back, knowing he would be there when I returned and we'd share the rest of our day together.
In the evening we'd eat dinner and watch TV while we ate and we'd talk or play with the kids.
We'd snuggle at night and if I woke during the night John would be there and I could listen to him breathe and feel his weight on his side of the bed.
Every day, all day, I went about my life knowing that John was part of the fabric that made up my life.
And now he's gone. And my life is frayed. And there are big holes where he used to be.
And I am smacked in the face with that every day, every night.
All. The. Time.
And there is no end in sight.
There is no prize for doing grief right. No one comes and says "Okay, you've accomplished that. Now you get to do something else. Your grief is over."
Grief doesn't become over. It might evolve. But it's never over.
And sometimes, in the wee hours of the night, I dream about John and we are together again, and we're talking and laughing about something and I wake up and for one sweet second, everything feels right. The world shifts back into place and I feel that whole-ness again.
And then I remember.
And John's gone-ness hits me again.
And grief is back.

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