I find myself fighting the waves of grief. I can feel them, getting stronger, but my feet are planted firmly on the ground. I am not going with the motions. I fight them -constantly. And I will be the first to admit it isn’t always healthy to fight the intense emotions that accompany these waves. But, sometimes you have to do what you have to just to survive. To keep putting one foot in front of the other so you can just make it through another day.
Far too many times, I have let these waves overcome me. Knock me off my feet and leave me floundering, drowning in sorrow. In the beginning, they would sneak up on me- the unsuspecting victim. They had an advantage over me because I was new to this type of grief. But now, I am all too familiar with it. I know its sneaky, unrelenting nature.
So, I fight it. Refusing to let it smother all the joy from my heart once more.
So hard I have worked to find the light in this dark new life. This “after” life. The life I now live on the other side of that dividing moment. The moment that shattered my world. I fight it because I don’t want to go back to the darkness of my earlier grief. I fight it because I have worked so hard to have my feet take root in this new ground.
But my ground is starting to shake again.
Silent earthquakes quiver beneath my feet. Sending vibrations straight to my heart. Reminding me that my world is still unstable no matter how much I fight it. No matter how much I fight it, it will come. The waves of grief grow larger with every passing breath. Stronger and stronger they become with every flashback, every reminder, and every thought I have about the day I had to say goodbye.
The silent earthquakes beneath me tremble with every passing wave. Slowly cracking away at my foundation. The one I have tried so desperately to repair. As much as I smile, laugh, and live my life, I am reminded that I am still so very broken on the inside. I am not whole. And behind every smile is a deep sorrow that I have yet to be able to shake. Behind every laugh is an emptiness that stands idly by, waiting to remind me of all that has been lost.
This life, this “after” life, it isn’t fair. It’s a constant struggle between finding balance of what is and what is not. I straddle a line with joy on one side and sorrow on the other and I am never allowed to stay on one side for too long. And there is never any balance between the two because I haven’t found it yet. I’m stuck between these two extremes pulling me like a piece of rope in a tug of war. Eventually becoming too much to bear… they rip me in two.
I stand tall on this unstable foundation of mine. The one that only months ago was nothing but misery and desolation – and virtually non-existent. I stand here, waiting for the waves of grief to take me. Because I know, it’s only a matter of time. It’s only a matter of time before the thought of saying goodbye is too much to bear and a crashing wave sweeps me away once more. And I’m left drowning in the gut-wrenching heartache and despair.
I am all too familiar with grief, my unwanted companion. I know it will catch up with me, it always does, and all it takes is one forceful sweeping wave. And when it comes it will knock me off my foundation. I will flounder, I will grapple, and I will gasp for air.
But I will find my foundation again. I always do. When the waves settle and the earthquakes cease, I will once again stand tall. I will laugh, I will love, and I will live. Because I will never give up. I made a promise to my son the day he died. Right before I handed his lifeless body over. I promised to live my life for him, the way I believe, he would have lived his.
I will always keep that promise. And there isn’t a wave of grief strong enough to stop me.