Sneaky Grief

First things first: I have to apologize for my very long radio silence. Between getting two new jobs, having a family member die unexpectedly, and preparing for my trip to Rwanda in July, this feels like one of those months that bit a piece off of my soul. I intentionally stepped away from writing for a bit in order to fight for my heart, body, mind, soul...sanity. That brings me to the topic of my post today.

Grief is one tricky mother. I respect the work and insight of  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, but sometimes I just can't (or don't want to) see a pattern of grief. For the last four days I have had what I assumed was a stomach bug, but my doctor seems to think it's grief – at least mostly. (I did consent to a travel doctor injecting 5 foreign diseases into my body last week, so I have to assume that's also a contributing factor.) I have a bad habit of distracting myself when I feel deep pain, then I assume it's my busy-ness that's causing my holistic distress.

This week it required a doctor of medicine to remind me that my heart is in a different place than my body & mind right now, that I need to let them reconnect somehow. Even though my surface self feels "okay" about the death of the very complicated man who was my grandfather, apparently I'm not actually OKAY.

"But I don't have time for that!" I say. "I am basically a single mother for the week as my husband works weird hours in a recording studio, I have more than one job, and I'm preparing for a trip to the other side of the world! I don't have time for grief... Come again another day, please."

At first glance, grief passing quickly seems like it would be a luxury, a gift; but I know in my wiser self that this pain of grief is one of the leading factors that have made me the person I am today. So it feels like it would make more sense for me to say, "Okay, Life. Bring it. Hit me with what you've got for me today." But I'm not brave enough (or physically functional enough) to invite that.

So today I just keep breathing – one breath in, then out. Then repeat. Hour-by-hour, which then turns into day-by-day, which turns into the passing of time. And if "they" are right, time apparently heals all wounds. I'm just going to be very gracious with myself about how I define "time" for a while.