I know. I know. This is not my usual tone of post, and probably not the best thing to be talking about on “Hump Day” but the recent first anniversary of the death of someone dear to me has me pondering a lot of things. Like what’s important in life. And about trauma and healing and the scars that are left behind.
Someone once said that time heals all wounds, but I don’t know that I agree with that.
I think, rather, that we learn how to live with the “wound”, that we learn to put it in a place in our hearts where we can deal with it most of the time.
For me grief has been like a body of water inside me and its tidal. When the tide is low, I can cope – the water is only lapping at the base of my belly, but then the tide comes in and I’m struggling to keep my head above water.
Maybe that’s because grief is accumulative. As we mature and life throws those curve balls our way our lake or river of grief slowly swells in size. Or maybe its because we need to somehow how find a way to release a little of our grief, like having a safety valve so we’re not flooded by it. I truly wish I had one. What I wouldn’t give for one.
I’ve never allowed myself to grieve openly – not for anything. Not for any of my personal woes. Not for me the twelve year old child who was gang raped and tortured, not for me the young mother abandoned with three small children to care for, and not for the people I have in my heart that I have lost along the way. In my youth I never allowed myself to cry. Not once. I put on a brave face for everyone, hell, I put on a clown face, and I soldiered on. Or maybe more accurately, I tried to ignore it. If I didn’t acknowledge it, then it wasn’t real. I tried to outrun it.
I once said in an interview that pain was universal but our experience of it was individual. Well, I think you can substitute the word grief in that statement. We’ve all experienced grief to some degree. It’s a universal emotion, but for each of us our experience of it is unique to us alone.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to learn to swim.