my angel baby
When we first started seeing Hugh Walker for grief counselling he made it pretty clear that there was no going forward until we were able to face, confront, deal with the images, flashbacks, and memories that haunt us most. I've tried, I really have - in so many ways I can't avoid it...
It's not easy; I fight it, play mind games to throw my thoughts somewhere else, but it all comes back to me one way or another. Not a day goes by with agonizing tears. I'm either unable to get off the floor or I'm locking it all up so tight I shake - I can feel it in my hands, and in my jaw when I try to talk. Leaving the house requires too much of me most days; I know I can't hold it together and the anxiety brought on just by thinking of having to say anything out loud or look anyone in the eye is an absolutely frightening feeling.
Every day I try to put Sarah's tools to work, the exercises she's taught me to take controlled breaths, to relax my mind and my body. I breathe deep and I try (so hard) to think of something else, think of myself as something else, somewhere else. I try to just think of my breathing - through my whole body like she's taught me..., but lately all I hear is Alejandra Ribera's lyrics, there's so much labour just in breathing lately...
It's all so exhausting.
Too many competing emotions, all wanting to take center stage: grief (unthinkable grief), confusion (about everything from aforementioned grief to tying my own shoes - or skates), sadness (with me for life), loneliness (but not a kind anyone here can cue), anger (with no direction), disbelief, I could go on..., name an emotion and I've it. Each of them need tending to.
There are times I feel happiness when I think of Finn or of being pregnant with him. It's a strange kind of happiness though, and I'm not sure I know how to describe it yet (brings us back around to that confusion).
The work it takes to concentrate on anything other than Finn, or Finn and my mother together is merciless, and I feel enormous guilt for trying so hard to get away from any thoughts of him. I just don't know how to get by otherwise...
With my mother, I'm not as conflicted; I understand why she died and as I've said before: we expect to lose our parents. I'm sad that she lost her life so early (she was only just 71) and I'm sad that she suffered in any way, but I understand why she's gone. What gets me all wound up is thinking about her and Finn - and the bizarre connection of profound life events they shared in 2013.
Still, I can't help feeling like an orphan, an orphan and a childless mother all at once, overnight it seems. Learning to live with this uncomfortable empty feeling which I know is never going to leave me makes me I feel like I'm caving in on myself ...and starting to understand that this is simply the new me. I get these very brief moments of feeling ridiculously powerful for this, but those moments aren't often and I usually get rid of them pretty quick. The only powerful one here is grief.
Time ever since Finn's death has gone by very fast (you'd think it would be slow...) I don't notice days going by, all the details just become part of the blur. Add that to the confusion. There is routine, sort of - I get up every day, I see H off, I stay up, I watch sunrises...
It's hard to return to things I used to do. It's the messed up mind again: I can't remember basic things - like plant names.. ugh.. You'd think turning to gardening would be therapeutic - perhaps when I can physically do it, because mentally I'm lost. At H's birthday party I was talking to someone and blurted out a couple plant names, surprising myself, reminding myself it's there, somewhere. It's just all boggled up. I'm not going to stress it right now, just shelf it. We'll see what happens in spring.
I still can't seem to cook or bake with the ease I used to. Part of it is a complete loss of appetite and a confused (there's that word again) palate. Everything tastes salty to me (no I'm not dehydrated) (deficient kidneys, yes), but bread and grains also taste off to me - and have since I started eating again after losing Finn. Everything changed. My postpartum grieving body is not accepting food with ease, more and more I'm starting the day throwing up; and the pain of digestion is causing me to ponder pros and cons of eating - usually resulting in a meal of water. I hate this. I used to love food.
In an effort to try to do something else (something different) I pulled out H's sewing machine yesterday - the one we gave her for Christmas a few years ago which I don't think she's ever used. Ahem.
I used to sew all the time, making quilts and clothes and toys for H. I thought maybe I'd try to make things - tangible things; I don't really know what's going to come of this. Staring down the machine's needle - a new to me machine, much fancier than the reliable (and heavy) (almost 50 year old) machine I inherited from my mother years ago (currently MIA) - I realized quickly that I have no idea what I'm doing. Google brought me to the 72 page pdf manual, which I'm convinced was written by someone who understands English as a third or fourth language. I think I'll get it though; it's a change of scenery but still familiar territory. My mother taught me how to sew.
I'm not entirely sure where to end this post...