Countless times in the past two months I have settled in to write again only to become afflicted with a condition known in my home as “yo-yo-butt.” I’ll write a few words then jump up to make coffee or tea or grab a bite of something. Sometimes, I’ll check the mail or take the dog out. Once in a while I’m sucked into the often substantial, gravitational pull of the couch after deciding my mind will feel much better about this when I wake up. It’s taken me this time to realize it isn’t my mind making the decisions, it is this heart, and this heart still just wants to curl up in a ball some days; most days, in fact. Today is no different but I am resisting the urge with full reverse thrusters.
The events I wrote about in my last post were a big deal to me. My trip and the journeying that happened within it was a big deal. Physically, I picked up and flew out of my reality and landed in a different one but it didn’t take very long for the one I live in to catch up. At that point, my heart broke open releasing waves of grief, hollowing me out completely once again. Once that pressure is relieved, there is space; to sit quietly, to reflect, to seek comfort, to find peace, and to question everything. (I am now resisting the urge to make coffee. Reading the word coffee made me want some but I am staying put…increasing thrusters)
The questions generally consist of, “Who am I *really*?” and “Why the hell am I *really* here?” Once in a while I will have what I feel to be a genuinely, divinely guided day where everything is a message that I actually understand and so much makes sense, even senseless things. But then the next day I’m asking those same questions again. I have this short-term memory when it comes to miracles, I guess. Whatever angelic company I keep must just shake their haloed heads and roll their holy eyes at this one because it’s never enough. I always want one more, you know, just to be sure.
I find that most things I do, now require recovery time and the past two months have consisted of a lot of recovery time. I’ve had the beautiful opportunity to spend a lot of time with my step-son, Peter. I got to hug the stuffin’ out of him as well as my other step son, Jordan. We had the opportunity to talk and to cry and to laugh. It was a bittersweet “so long for now” sending the two of them off again. They’re amazing young men, striking out into the world, making their way as they should be. I feel richly blessed and so happy to be a part of their lives but it has been an adjustment, again settling into the emptier nest.
Also since last posting, I have experienced loss and fresh grief again, twice. Tiny beings, dear pets, my son Braeden & Dannica’s pets. Each of these little passings was the loss of another living connection to our Dannica. I’ve also done a lot of things in these two months. I’ve met new people, made new friends, become acquainted with new clients, begun leading a meditation group once a week, said yes more often than not to all manner of invitation and event and I’ve wanted to say yes to more than I have. I believe this is the equivalent for me of yo-yo-butt on a lifestyle level.
Doing, doing, doing, wondering when I decided it was actually good advice to “keep busy.” I’m not saying doing the things I’ve been doing is bad, I’ve just come to realize how important it is not to “keep busy” to the exclusion of allowing my heart to break fully open again on a regular basis. There’s always a message there, like cracking open a cosmic fortune cookie. Why wouldn’t I want to receive that message?
This is how far I got before the word coffee just yanked me into the kitchen. (25 minutes have now passed) You may not be surprised to learn that before I got to the kitchen, I saw my shoes in the hallway so, naturally, I put them on and took the dog out to get the mail then sat back down here having completely forgotten about the coffee, yet not even realizing it had been forgotten until I re-read what I’d written about being yanked into the kitchen. Crike. Welcome to the chronic yo-yo-butt of bereavement. Why do I do this? Why do we all do this?
I have a confession to make. I was guilty of this behavior even before my daughter’s passing. In fact, I’m not sure I remember a time in my life when I wasn’t guilty of this. It has been since my daughter’s passing, however, that I’ve become more fully aware of it because it has been since my daughter’s passing that I have had to begin learning how to be genuinely alone with myself, in a comfortable way. Even now, sitting here looking this fear in the face, I am resisting the urge to put the laptop down, get up and leave this room. There is an empty space within me that seems to believe that something out there is needed to fill it and its gravitational pull is more substantial than the one around my couch.
Of course nothing on earth creates a larger empty space than the loss of a dearly loved one; for me one of my children, my sweet girl, my daughter, Dannica. Yet, despite realizing the necessity of taking this time for myself, I found the further in time I got from the previous post, the more I feared facing the next one. I began to question myself for writing at all, for sharing any of this with anyone. In fact, I received some pretty harsh criticism regarding Beyond A Shadow of Doubt, and nearly decided to hang it up completely. I was called “despicable” for that one. It takes one more despicable than I, however, to kick someone when they’re bleeding and bearing their soul in hopes of healing. I realize there will always be critics. I also realize that despite the fact that I am generally a very private person, I have decided to move through the process of debilitating grief in a very public way so perhaps that is to be expected.
So here I sit. Hollowed out. Again. And it feels good to have wept again. To have faced the eternity of Dannica’s physical absence on earth again. To have allowed the gravity of mother earth to hold me tightly to her in affirmation of my own choice to live the best I can… here. Also important to me is letting those I love and those who love me know how I really am.