I know what’s been going on this week. I have been here before. Raging and railing against grief. I recognize the fight. But this go around has been particularly brutal. I felt out of control, like it was controlling me.
Then, finally, as I was shoveling snow last night, crying, there came a quiet voice. Enough, little creature. Enough. Put down the shovel. Stop fighting.
Standing in the cold, surrounded by sparkling snow and a sparkling sky, it became clear. Grief is a gift. In the face of emptiness, the incomprehensible hole left by his death, grief gives me something to fight against. Denial, anger, frustration, pain. Fight it I will, many more times, I am sure. Every round, wildly throwing punches at the shadow of death, until I am tired out, cried out, knocked-out on the floor.
I don’t want to be in the ring. I want to let go. But coming to acceptance that my husband is gone. It’s the hardest truth I’ve ever faced. If I let go…where will he go?
So I keep fighting it, this strange and confusing gift. Fighting for me, fighting for him, pummeling that bastard cancer that took him, and trying to “move on”. But any “victory”, if you can call it that, doesn’t take place at a big blow out event. With an audience. Nor does it take place when I am screaming at the top of my lungs. It takes place in the quiet moments, after the storm, after the tussle has passed, and defenses are down. When there is no where left to hide. No one left to blame.
Into the quiet, there comes a flutter. A shutter, of acceptance. As crystaline clear, and ephemeral, as a single snowflake. Because really, most of us can’t handle more than that. I know I can’t. This is what grief has taught me. One cold sharp breath of reality at a time. So I shake hands with my sparring partner. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. What else can I do. I let grief help me up, this strange adversary who keeps pushing me down, keeps pushing me along. All I can do is hope that with each fight, I get a little wiser to grief’s moves. That, maybe, there will be a softer landing.
But right now? Enough. You heard it, I declare this battering of a week over. Time to stop shoveling and be quiet. I can no longer fight it. In this moment, I surrender. I accept that he is gone.
A delicate, perfect snowflake, once clear, once present, now melted on my tongue.