To live, to err;
to fall, to triumph,
to re-create life out of life!
~ James Joyce, from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Three weeks. It's three weeks I'm back from Chicago (read Pilgrimage and Wrap) and this reentry after "burying" my husband has been turbulent. I'm starting over - with my grief - physical symptoms, cognitive malfunctions, erratic emotions, sensory sensitivity, frighteningly familiar from the early days and weeks are back, some with a vengengence. It's been a nightmare; as though I've taken two steps backward.
My grief therapist, Amber, warned me my return might be uncomfortable. Before I left, she advised me to give myself a few days to rest and adjust. And I did, or so I thought. The first three days I laid low, took my time and settled in: went through the mail, got unpacked, did the laundry, took down a door and put it in the garage, went to a couple of meetings, mowed the lawn, had the cable service changed, checked-in with the lawn guy on the install status, strolled the yard to see how much everything had grown. Do you see this? Where the hell is rest and adjust? That's about when the bottom began to crumble...
On day four, I couldn't get out of bed, full-out energy depletion, along with a migraine, dull sore throat, and a terrifying pain in my chest had erupted. I was moving like a turtle and couldn't concentrate. Sitting in Amber's office the week after my return, telling her about my trip, all the grief work I'd done and how miserable I'm feeling - - she nods her head and says, "Shannon, think about how much you accomplished while you were away. Can you see that? Most people take months, sometimes years, to do what you did in just two and a half weeks. It's going to take you some time to recover." She reminds me I'm trying, yet again, to control the grief (read Ooh La La), compartmentalize the process, navigating it all like a giant check list with an expectation that I'll wipe my hands together as a symbol of completion and carry on. NOPE! I shake my head in drudgery, reminded of Boomer's whispering words, "Not so fast there, SMO." (read Not So Fast)
Enter Bereavement 201 - - the next level - - acceptance and reality, with some secret, hidden surprises tossed in for flavor to keep things interesting, and me humble. I didn't think I'd be going down so far, so fast, for so long. That's why it's called the next level, you go deeper. Woo-Hoo! Your mission, if you choose to go through it, is to confront head-on what you're grappling with, the thing or things that may be stifling your healing and ability to move forward. What's so weird and unnerving about it all is that it's completely unbeknownst to you until you willingly and fully surrender to the process. Being this vulnerable is scary for me. I'm devastated by what's been revealed and feverishly in action...