I went into a solid sleep, and it was deeper and narrower than I was prepared for. I keep expecting to wake from a long, languid sleep and feel some type of jolt, but instead it is still a dull ache.
I was drawn back to a picture from this time last year. The tree outside my bedroom window was a vibrant, stinging orange. The color matched the freshness of the pain of losing Nelle, only about two months earlier. At the same time this year, the tree has only half-heartedly changed. There is no majesty in it, no appeal.
While pain was difficult and gripping, I could also feel the sharp edges. Now everything is listless. While on anti-depressants, I felt numb; this isn’t that. It is the weight of sorrow that has been raining too long and now soaked my clothes and spirit. Moving around leaves a trudging trail of water, or mud, or bitterness.
I forget sometimes that grief comes in waves. I may have been sailing through calm waters during the ease and sun of summer, but now seem to be sinking into either a lower tide or turbulent waters. It is unsettling and I feel unprepared.
Progress suddenly feels distant and disjointed. Kind of like the muted tree outside of my window, it is unfamiliar. At least the distinct realm of grief before became familiar: in the instant after the words were uttered “I don’t see anything” while staring at the ultrasound machine, it was a fixture in my days. Around this time last year, I even wrote “I am comfortable with my grief.” It became familiar.
Then I worked hard, so hard, on the emotional repair I needed to do. Learning to move forward with loss, through talking, writing, and hard self-awareness. Grief became a less prominent fixture.
But now, I can feel it swell. The triggers are rapid, succinct, and exhausting. I know that my attention has been diverted and I have not been taking care of myself, and am now dealing with the after-affects of that. I am headed into a storm, and need to locate my life vest, while I wait for calmer waters to reappear.