Eddies, ellipses, and deep sea dwellers

When you are in the worst of it…you think it will never end. You feel like someone dunked you into the pool of sadness, your lungs fill with water, and when you come up gasping for air, you get dunked again. Come on. I didn’t even get a chance to breathe! That’s how it can feel for quite a while. Death is a choker. And loss, a deep, deep well.

But slowly, you learn to calm the waters. When you feel the wave of panic coming ’round, instead of fighting it, you roll with it. You ride it out. Or – you plug your nose, close your eyes, and let it pass, fully aware that you can only use escapism so many times…

Sometimes you drop to the bottom, allowing the weight of the water to push you down, and you are able to sit still for a while in that dark cool place, feeling it for what it is. Cold. Lonely. Beautiful and still. That’s what I always loved about diving toward the bottom of a lake. There was anxiety there, too, holding my breath, heading toward the quiet coolness, totally alone, testing my strength, pushing my lungs, pushing at life. And then the warmth…as I’d swim back toward the surface. Feeling like I was bursting back into the world, a place of air, sounds, laughter and sun.

It does get better.

They say that you will always carry your loss with you, and that you learn to live with your grief. I don’t doubt this. And I am aware that the deepest pool, the one that contains the darkest moments, will always be there. It has incredible power. My chest still tightens at the thought of falling back in, it can pull you down so quickly, with such force.

But it has eased a little. It’s like the death-grip loosened, and spread itself out into smaller eddies. Places that are still swirling with the same water, but less deep. Less painful. Less potential for emotional drowning. There are even moments, when I dare to say, I am the ROCK, damn it….around which everything else can just go ahead and swirl.

Thank god. It does get better. I am better.

But definitely not the same…(<—- and if I might say so myself, this ellipsis is probably the most appropriately placed one in this entire blog)

Apparently over 95% of the ocean has yet to be explored. And what of our minds, our psyche? And the mysterious beauty of soul, spirit, and those incredible deep water fish…

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9 thoughts on “Eddies, ellipses, and deep sea dwellers

  1. I have just come across your blog through a friend of mine and just began reading it today. I too am a young widow (well I’m 45 so I’m not that young but young in terms of being a widow). I lost the love of my life, have two young kids (9&10) and deep in my grief. I added my blog if you are interested. My husband died in June 2012 (of cancer as well) and I wrote a lot about his death. I’ve written a lot less about grief but not because I haven’t been grieving. I took a major hiatus from my blog….for many reasons. This second year of grief is seeming harder than the first because I’m realizing (as are my kids) that he is not coming back. I think it was just total shock for the first year. I am going to continue reading your blog because I can of course relate to all of it but I was wondering if you would want to email one on one…or talk. I have not found that many young widows where I live.
    With love and respect,
    Nancy

    • Nancy, thank you for your comment. I wanted to be able to take the time to look at your blog, and read your story. So much love and beauty there. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Many people talk about the second year being harder, for the exact reasons you described…I have felt that way at times, too. I would love to connect more, so I’ll send you an email. Thank you for reaching out. xx

  2. “It does get better. I am better….but definitely not the same.” Boy, that’s a great description and one that fits me, too. On the surface I look and act the same as before my husband passed away but on the inside, everything I do is shadowed by the missing piece in my life.

    • I know what you mean. There is so much change that happens on the inside, it’s hard to put it into words…and the missing piece you mentioned, it’s a big hole to fill, shape, cover up, (or whatever it is that we do), to live with it.

  3. The video is gorgeous, so peaceful. I was lucky enough this spring to visit an exhibit on jellyfish at the Monterey Aquarium in California. Maybe I’ll post some of those, they really are beautiful and meditative to watch. Thanks for that!

    • That sounds cool. I love watching jellyfish, and also octopi. But some of the real deep, deep sea fish are on the other spectrum, kind of scary and ugly! The one that has what looks like a light bulb hanging above it’s head (Humpback Angler Fish) is just crazy!

  4. Oh so beautifully written and offered me a felt sense of the depth of pain grief can feel like…drowning and then feeling the still water… and everything in-between. Grief never evaporates, it simply changes its shape. Both my parents died in 2012 – 6 months apart. I still feel like I am drowning at times and I also feel the stillness wrap me. I will never be the same.

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