The grief monster

I’m having one of those days, baby, where the gravity of missing you is pulling me so far into myself that tears are about the only energy my body can muster. You feel so far away.

It’s days like today, when I start to worry about the kind of person I’ve become, the mother I wish I could be, the angel that you are, and the world I’ve come to know, that the weight of your loss pulls on my will to progress.

I have come so far since you’ve been gone. There were days I could do nothing, nothing, but miss you. I asked friends to drive me to appointments, because I was afraid of breaking down behind the wheel. Those same friends walked me to the counters and checked me in so I wouldn’t have to converse with those who may, or may not know you’d gone to Heaven.

But in time, I became independent again. I still rely heavily on a whole lot of people, but I can function on my own. And I’m functioning enough to maintain a full-time job and raise a child who was placed in our lives at three years old after a lifetime of turmoil. He is thriving. I am thriving. I should be proud of my progress.

I had to make a dentist appointment for your brother last week. His first one. I called your dentist and explained he was a new patient but the doctor had seen his brother. “And do we still see your other son?” The receptionist asked over the phone.

“We lost him two years ago,” I replied, and cringed. 

“I’m so sorry,” she said.

Me too. Me too.

I’m so sorry, baby.

I’m sorry that you aren’t here with us. I’m sorry you’re not here to celebrate our family, in its new and beautiful form. I’m sorry that I want to be so happy for the blessings we’ve been given, but that the happiness hurts so badly. Any happiness still hurts so badly, because at the end of every day, I still lost you. I still have to live this life without you. 

I want to tell myself, I want to believe, that I am conquering grief. That I will not let it destroy my spirit or my will to continue thriving. But it is an ugly beast. And it will kick you when you’re up, it will kick you when you’re down, and it will kick you at times when you have no defense against it.

I’ve heard that if you’re ever face to face with a bear, the best defense is to roll over and play dead. Or is it stand up and be as big and tall and loud as possible? I have no idea. I don’t know what my best defense is here, either. 

But I’m so tired of fighting. Fighting the urge to cry in the middle if the day. Fighting the urge to hate everyone for everything. Fighting the pain inside my soul. And fighting this feeling that no matter what I do, it’s never going to be ok. 

I just want it to be ok. 

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