Grief has a way of catching up with us at the most inopportune moments. The moment grief works its way in, it is all consuming and fills the spaces in your lungs where the air is supposed to go. Grief is heavy in every way imaginable and when it is not simply your burden of grief that you carry the weight is almost punishing.
The months of 2012 blend together like a long day and night, a solstice of life at its finest and darkest hours. I spent my time keeping busy, trying to stay one step ahead of the sorrow, savoring each moment of joy, throwing myself at any task just in order to keep the sadness at bay. We can only avoid things for just so long, because sooner or later it all catches up with us.
I am not exactly sure when I allowed the grief to settle in and start to take over. Maybe it happened during those weeks in September when faced with constant reminders of just how fragile life is. Death touched the lives of my family 6 times in the days from September 6, until 27. Still, I remained busy, hiding from my feelings and stumbling along the way hoping to avoid the inevitable crash. Maybe the cracks finally started happening once I acknowledged a part of my past and realized that I am not alone. Maybe it happened during the interval between a difficult loss and waiting for news, hoping that one loss was all we had to endure. Time is a precious gift and a mortal enemy all rolled into one, given too much time and the fear of the unknown adds to our burden. It is amazing to me how one event folds into the next and quickly compounds feelings of heaviness. To be honest it is hard to describe how grief feels physically. For me, grief feels like a weight that sits on my back, in my chest and in my gut. I am unable to breathe, I am unable to eat and the world around me feels out of sort like a I am walking in an alternate universe
What I do know is I felt the grief blanket me and fill my lungs when the pain and sadness was not mine alone. I just can not give you a time or a date, because it feels like it just happened all of a sudden and I know that is not the case. I realize that I tried desperately to take the burden of grief away from my children and my husband to carry it for them and I attempted to avoid my own feelings during these months and recent weeks. As we walk away from the moments of loss and sadness ,life becomes clearer I see things for what they are to me.
So now I am coming up for air, I feel as though I can breathe again. Every day the air in my lungs feels lighter and lighter but I am still reminded of the reality that life is fragile yet unbreakable. The thing about grief is it comes in waves and disappears like the tide (now how is that for cliché) and the only way for me to get through it all is to be aware of how I am feeling, not to let myself drown in the pain and the sadness and to breathe.