Dancing with Grief, part something

Lone man sits on a hill and thinks

Today has been a day of feelings of blah. I thought it was boredom at first.  But there was so much that I could do, there was certainly no reason to be bored.  It was more like, I didn’t want to do any of the things.  I didn’t want to do much of anything.  So I watched a documentary.  Then I watched a movie.  Because I felt that since I had this free time, where I wasn’t interested in doing anything, well…..a movie sounded like a good idea.  I half watched and only cared about what I was watching for a fraction of the time

Then something occurred to me.

My asthma has been acting up all day and breathing has been difficult.  Through my encyclopedia of energetic bodywork, up pops “grief”, knowing it is the emotion that we carry in our lungs.  Then all of a sudden I think about a post I made yesterday on social media that asked What would you do if you weren’t so afraid?  What immediately came to mind was “I would allow myself to feel the enormity of ALL of the grief that I am carrying”……..of course, I was careful to include other things that sounded more fun than feeling grief, and typed that one out in sort of a footnote format, so it didn’t “get me”.  I know all too well how when you put something out there, it comes sneaking or sometime’s stomping in.  

Careful what you wish for.  Dammit.  I didnt mean it (actually, yeah I did).  

Yes, this is grief.  I remember this now. (And as soon as I acknowledged it, my breathing eased up)  It feels similar to boredom and depression with indifference.  It surprisingly isn’t that much like sadness.  Not at this point anyways.  Perhaps that is because I am actually feeling it rather than thinking it.  When I think about grief……well I get sad……oh its so sad that my father died two years ago and I can never speak to him.  It is very sad that my daughter and I were estranged for three years and now that we have reconnected we are a thousand miles apart and I’m unable to give her a hug.  Its very sad all of the things that are going on with the world.  

That is thinking about sadness.  That is not grief.  Grief is more like a pit of nothingness without any thought.  There really aren’t even tears.  There is that familiar insecurity that comes with grief, which is still weird to me. Grief has far more loss to it than sadness.  And I think that loss is a mixture of different things.  Loss of a person.  Loss of time.  And I think really, on a deeper level, that grief is about some loss of self……………which probably has to do with the loss of a person and the loss of time, and so on……………..but if it all comes back to self…..well…there absolutely is a loss of self (or part of)….or perhaps it’s a letting go, but as long as it is still felt as a loss, it’s felt as grief.

Let me try that out……..

The part of me that was my father’s daughter is gone.  (Yes I know that I am and always will be my father’s daughter, but its different now that he isn’t alive).  The aspects of myself that will pick up the phone when he calls aren’t there anymore.  The part of me that wondered what he was up to on a summer day and perhaps envisioned him with his tomato plants, his girlfriend, and their dog….that part is gone.  I don’t wonder about things like that anymore.  And when I do I go “Oh yes, that doesnt happen anymore. You forgot.”  The part of me that used to give him a big hug…..that was gone.  That was actually gone 10 years ago, with the last time being the visit to California I made a year after I had moved to Maine.  It’s kind of funny how that got held in limbo, always thinking that there would be another time.  

The part of me that will ever birth children again is gone…….(thats a big one for me).  And now I watch them grow older and sometimes mourn at the loss of being able to lift them up on my lap and snuggle their necks and breathe in their scent. The breastfeeding mother is gone.  She was with me off an on for 21 years.  I knew her well.  

All of these things are gone….and yet they aren’t.  I recognize that they do still live on in my memories…and that this is life and just how it goes.  AND they are gone.  There absolutely is loss there.  And there is grief.  I think we would do better to acknowledge the Grief present in everyday moments. It’s at our disposal constantly and it can teach us things.  Mostly, I think it can teach us gratitude and teach us joy. (And I know that sounds so incredibly strange and doesnt make a heck of a lot of sense….but my experience has been I have more gratitude, and thus more joy having felt grief. 

And on the other side of that is pouring…….morning……..which feels a bit like birth and stepping into this new and unfamiliar foot step after foot step after foot step.  With a bit of a wobble.  And because I am an adult and I know how to walk without a wobble (most of the time), the wobble comes in a different way. I feel it in my breath, my heartbeat, and really in my sense of self.  It’s not necessarily bad.  I cant say that it feels good. It just is how it is.

Another level of grief…..who knew there were so many?!!! It’s actually rather cool at how many levels of one single emotion there can be and how that causes that emotion to shift and change in our own experience of it. Grief at this time is not like what it was 2 years ago.  And yet it is at the same time.  (That’s fascinating!) 

And who knew that it could go so far back in time and run so deep and willy nilly.  (It’s not too surprising given how willy nilly and ultimately silly humans are!)

It’s pretty freaking amazing too. That we can store all of that in our bodies…………years and years of tucked away grief, because we just aren’t ready or willing to deal with it.  That’s a pretty profound capability that we have.  

Ahhhh so there can be that in grief too.  Whatever that emotion is……….I think I won’t name it. I’ll just let that one be……and breathe……….

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