If I had a time machine that could transport me back two days, I would tell myself to be prepared. Grieving hits at the most unexpected times.
I felt like I had been doing really well. Feeling even-keel, going to yoga consistently, ready to take on new challenges at work. Almost completely weaned from my anti-depressants.
Then July arrived. My due date with Iris was July 28. In the back of my head, I knew it was coming, but I was not prepared for how hard I would be struck.
Wednesday night, in the company of friends, I cried and cried. They type of crying I have not done in months. The unable-to-catch-my breath sobbing. The type of crying where I don’t know what to do with my hands: do I cover my face? Do I throw something? Do I ball my hands into fists and let my fingernails cut into my flesh? I couldn’t stop crying.
I woke up the next morning feeling awful, unrelated to the alcohol that I had consumed the night before. Instead of feeling lithe and clean, I felt heavy and dirty. I threw on loose pants and a scrubby shirt as a reflection of how poorly I thought of myself. I felt icky, hatred, foreign toward my body – also the type of feelings I have not had in months. I took a bath, with the temperature so high that it caused sweat to roll down my body, the type of punishment I usually reserve for hot yoga.
I thought that the promotion at work would be a welcomed distraction. Instead I found myself feeling like I was being called out for a decision. I was about to respond curtly to justify myself, but then had to take a step back and say “Let it go. You are not in the best place right now.” In retrospect, I was reading too much into it. I thought about asking for understanding in the upcoming months as I delve back into this new wave of sadness but I held back. How long can I ask the world around me to be considerate? Society expects me to have moved past the sadness by now. Changes in my role at work will mean that I am expected to be stronger, and I wanted the change and asked for it.
I drove in the rain today. It went from sunny to dark clouds quickly. I cried, hard, in the car, as I listened to the song This Woman’s Work.
Pray God you can cope
I’ll stand outside
This woman’s work…
I know you’ve got a little life in you yet
I know you’ve got a lot of strength left