Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What is it?

What is grief anyways? Does what I'm feeling really fit that description? In fact, how can such a large range of emotions, at randomly varied depths, be effectively conveyed in such a tiny little word? 

Let me explain what it's like to lose our baby and not know why. It's not just a sadness, it's more like the feeling that your soul has left your body and you are now as empty as a glove without a hand in it. It's not just pain, it's the emotional equivalant of a heart attack while you're having a root canal with no novacaine. It's not just anger, it's a madness that is so far beyond your own comprehension that while you feel compelled to throw, and hopefully destroy, everything in your immediate surroundings, you do nothing.

These emotions have you hijacked.You are taken to the end of the road and left stranded. If you keep looking in the same direction, there is only more nothingness to behold. You turn and look towards the direction you surely must have come from, and realize that you have to find your own way back. If you're lucky, you have someone there with you, at the same end of the road, and trying to get back to the same place you are. There's a 20% chance you will both make it, which, means an 80% chance only one of you will ever arrive.  You see other travellers on a similar journey, but they are too distant to call out to, and their destination is not the same. They cannot help you except that their presence gives you reassurance that you are not the first to have to do this, and it can be done.

You ask yourself, and each other, "Where are we?" to which neither really knows the answer. You only know the vehicle that brought you there. Where are we supposed to be and where to we want to be? Which way do we go to get there? How far is it, and what time should we expect to arrive? More questions means more ignorance revealed. You are already tired from the journey that led you here in the first place... and now you're supposed to have enough energy to get back? And where is "back" anyway? Do I even want to go there? Do I have to, or can I stay here? How long can I stay here? You see, this is the last place where our lives were intertwined with Carly's, and moving from this spot is almost an umanageable task. 

This is the grief that is losing your child. It is a journey. Probably a never-ending journey. A journey that will never take you back to the place you were before. You may be able to choose the path to some degree, but you do not get to pick the obstacles, and so you're path may be ever-changing. You can work together, or you can go it alone. You can try to pass the time while you travel with a few jokes and smiles, or you can just keep reminding yourself of how miserable this journey is in the first place. Maybe it's ok to do a little of both.

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