Dear Grief, it's Laurie here.
As per your guidance, my current mantra is: "I am responsible for my own process." I know I can't rush this undertaking, as is my wont in so many things. Every day I have to exercise my grief muscles in a heavy workout. It's like lifting twenty pound weights. I know I can do ten reps but I am also aware I can't do more than two sets or I will be fatigued. I need to rest in between and gain my strength before I continue the process. I can take rests, but then I have to push myself to continue my workout.
My therapist has me close my eyes and envision my grief. Weirdly I see grief as a cloud. Actually, I see it more as a stay-puff-marshmallow Pillsbury doughboy that is heavy and flies heavily above me, tethering us together by a short leash. I told you it was weird! She has me talk to grief and tell him to give me some slack. I am really not good at this imagery stuff, but surprisingly I get right into the exercise and tell grief to loosen the string and be more of a balloon that I can call upon when needed. I can't get rid of the string that is binding me to grief, but in between heaving sobs, I beg grief to offer me some slack. The pain of grief is so intense that I know I need a break occasionally and grief answers by giving me an extra-long string and trailing far behind me, instead of hovering over me constantly. This session is really like having the stomach flu. You toss your cookies and then feel a welcome release. I will take any respite that grief will offer. The pain will return but hopefully in a lesser state.
To help me on my path I have decided to write a letter to grief, and then one from grief to me as an exercise towards finding a purpose for all the emotions that have taken me hostage.
It's Day number 485 and I'm still so down, and traumatized by my loss. I have to admit that you still suck! You blindsided me and punched me in the guts. You have taken every waking moment of my time and you insist that I move forward. You knocked me for a loop and I wasn't prepared for your power and your force. You exhaust me still. You split my world apart and you have the audacity to expect me to put the pieces back together. I was not ready for a process that is constant and merciless. Are you sure you want me to honor my pain? This is a horrible task that will take all of my power and my soul to get through.
On the plus side, I must admit that you have gotten me to write. I didn't know I could pour out my emotions in my online blogs so that I can help myself as well as others on the same roller coaster ride. The writing is what keeps me going and the feedback is a superb perk. You are still on my s*%t list, but I am hoping to understand you and keep writing. I've met some remarkable people along the way this past year and while that doesn't make up for Peter being gone, we are a community of gentle folk who, are respectful of each others' feelings and pain.
Not Fondly Yet, Laurie
I am so deeply sorry to have caused you so much anguish. I am here to assist you through this painful process. You and Peter loved each other so deeply that it will be harder for you to adjust to life without him. It will take a long time so please take care of yourself, rest, eat well (lots of carbs of course), and find things that truly make you happy. Use your widow card wisely to say no, when it doesn't feel right. Keep writing, which is so beneficial in your process. I can't promise you that you will become better, but I can try to help you achieve the goal of redefining a new life for you. Remember this phrase: "Grief is the last gift of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love." Unknown
Fondly, Hoping To Be Your Pal, Grief