Onboard a plane, destination sadness. Or at least that's the goal.
Well that was kind of dramatic...<rolling my eyes>
On September 23rd it will be 3 years since Brandon died. It took 3 years to use that word instead of "passed".
It seems silly that I need to seek out sadness. Connect with my loss. Most would think I've spent enough time with sadness in these 3 years. But no - seems I've avoided it like the plague. I guess it's not all that uncommon. But it did take me by surprise.
I worked SO hard on my grief. I went to therapy. I got involved in support groups. I attended Griefshare and grief seminars. I read books, listened to pod casts and journaled. I started a monthly Young & Widowed support group at the HeartLight Center. I thought I had "dealt" with this.
On the contrary I'm finding that I accepted my grief, but I never felt my grief.
That first year I was in shock and survival mode. From diagnosis thru death I had to stay strong to show Brandon I could do this. He broke when he'd see me cry, so I couldn't. He could no longer be my strength when I was weak - so I had to be strong for both him and Aria. I could not allow myself to feel the pain, fear and anxiety that was bearing down on me as I watched him slip away.
Then I had a newborn and Lupus and a house and a job to take care of on my own. I simply could not allow myself to feel, I had to just do.
So I "did" grief. I did everything I could. I kept myself busy, I smiled and laughed. On rare occasions tears would slip through the facade, then I'd logic them away with statements of faith and acceptance.
I could not allow myself to carry the sadness because I feared I could not hold one more thing without it all crashing down.
So I didn't.
And I became quite good at compartmentalizing those feelings.
But the reality I have found is like the quote: "That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."
I think now that I am engaged to Karl and in a loving and supportive relationship the walls of those compartments are coming down because unconsciously I know that someone will be there if I fall, so now I can take this on. And in due timing as I think the sadness and pain and fear are starting to overflow those walls and seep into other areas to get the attention they need.
This is surely a realization I do not want to face. To be honest I'm annoyed. I thought I had done the hard work.
Trust me, I know that everyone's grief journey is different, and we do not "complete" this - we "incorporate" it, and we need to be gentle with ourselves, and I'm doing the best I can with what I have and blah blah blah. Yes, all of that is absolutely true - but it doesn't make it any less annoying or scary to have to deal with.
I'm tired of dealing with grief.
...Or not dealing with grief.
So I sit here on a bench in Miami staring out at the water, writing and trying to connect with the sadness I have distracted myself from. To feel it and give it a home in my heart.
I keep trying to "schedule" my grieving. I do it when I go up to his grave. When I run to Miami. But the truth of it is that I can't do it that way. Yes, it gives me needed time for reflection, but not authentic bereavement.
I will need to feel the sadness when it surfaces, of course at the most inopportune moments in life. And I know I need to give it that space instead of stuffing it back in that box.
I need to incorporate it.
And embrace it.
Wish me luck...