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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Miles away….

Dearest followers, many a post have I started, yet I can’t seem to finish any of them. Maybe because I like to tie my tales up in a bow, and at least attempt to bring a nice conclusion to my mind’s rumblings, er, ramblings – and these days I can’t seem to wrap anything up. I will be honest and admit that lately I prefer to play games like Candy Crush and Fairway Solitaire on my ipad, rather than complete an emotionally-driven thought. I play these games over and over and over.

It’s a self-protection mechanism, and an avoidance tactic. I recognize it for what it is. Because if there is one thing I have learned in this past year, it’s that my mind is extremely powerful. It rules the roost around here, and when it tells me it needs an escape, you better believe I listen. I know it might sound strange to keep separating my mind from the rest of my little old self, but I think some people tend to be ruled by emotion, some are ruled by their bodies and desires, and some of us are ruled by our minds. Like I said, in this house, the “noodle” is in charge.

Now, I’m not going to debate whether this is a good thing, or a bad thing. That’s a post for another time, it’s just an observation about what I have been doing, and why I haven’t been writing, and how my mind is trying to steer miles clear of the pain point coming my way, the unavoidable fact, that in one month, on May 28th, it will be one year since my husband died.

Me and my mind, we’re just not sure what to make of this. That much is clear.

I have been feeling pretty good. I recently attended a wonderful retreat for people who have lost a spouse. In addition to playing games on my ipad, I’ve also been gardening, re-seeding the lawn, taking the dog to the park. I’ve been “busy”, ya’ know? I haven’t been stirring the emotional pot. Am I in denial? I really don’t know. I have a month to go, my mind is starting to tire of games, my heart is getting restless, and reality is coming knocking. Many people say that the actual day isn’t as difficult as the build-up to the day. I say, TBD. TBD.

In the meantime, if any of you are so inclined, let me know which half-completed thought you’d like me to try and finish: the one about Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm, the one that references “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”, the one titled “Touch and Go”, or the most recent one about Parallel Paths…

Yeah, I know, everyone’s going to want to hear about the worm farm.