I have so needed this break from busyness to rest and relax. It feels so good to have time to read and to ponder and to just be. On the other hand, the downside of having time to myself is that it also doesn’t let me hide from grief. And I’ve had much to grieve over the last year or so. So much loss, with each loss following on the heels of another one as life as I knew it has slowly unraveled. Without the busyness to keep me distracted, I am forced to look these losses in the face and deal with the grief I’d rather not acknowledge.
It’s not as if I haven’t done my share of mourning already on this journey. I’ve done my best to face the grief along the way as it has arisen, to make myself face it head-on instead of hiding from it. But grief takes its own sweet time to unfold and to heal.
I recently found the quote below in a blog post called Who Moved My Cheese? from The Path Less Pedaled blog. In it, the author talks about coming to the end of their cross-country bike journey and the process of grieving the end of the trip even though she was ready for the break.
“But you can’t really mourn the end of a part of your life experience and smile at the same time. And so I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a daze for the past several weeks. Time has passed, but I can’t really remember what I’ve done. I’ve made and sent out orders, but I’d have to look through my records to know what all I did. Like novocaine wearing off after a dentist visit, the sting of the end of the trip is hitting me hard now that I’m waking up from my fog. And fog is really the only way I can describe it. Everything around you seems familiar and you know you should know how to interact with it all. But the edges are dulled, because it’s hard to comprehend that this is who you are now.” ~Laura Crawford
Although she is obviously describing a very difference situation than what I have been going through, I found her description of grief to be so accurate for my experience. That sense of being in a fog, the delayed impact of the grief as the fog lifts, the inability to recognize life again in its changed form—I am intimately familiar with each of those symptoms.
This week is like a time of the fog lifting a bit more on some of these griefs from the last year. At the same time, I am already beginning to feel the early threads of grief for some losses that are coming in my near future. It is good to have this time to face the grief and the fear that accompanies it, but oh, how it aches! I am grateful for the time to not feel obligated to smile, to not have anyone else to do for, to be able to cry whenever I need to. It sounds horribly maudlin I suppose, but in reality, it is just the healing draught I’ve needed.