Moving Through Grief: One Step Forward Two Steps Back

Photo By: Bill Clark

I woke up from a sound sleep in a cold sweat, panic stricken the other night! I know I have said this before but starting a blog and sharing my first post is WAY out of my comfort zone.

I got out of bed, it was the middle of the night all was still and quite except for my mind. My thoughts just rolling around and around tormenting me. I grabbed my computer and re-read my 1st post. I cried…this is yet another way that I am being stretched from this experience of loosing Claude to suicide.

I have known for the past couple of years that I may be asked to help others who have experienced loss. I just had no idea how that would look or unfold. This is only the first of many steps I feel that will lead me along on that path.

Don’t get me wrong I feel honored and I say YES to this calling yet it is terrifying and it will take some getting used to. I have been in a pretty protective space and I am an introvert by nature so this is crazy scary! In addition to that I have never considered myself to be a writer. I have been writing in my journal over the past couple of years loving the magic that is revealed through that process.

I look forward to expanding my “practice” and being of service is an added bonus. I can assure you there will be mistakes with spelling grammar, punctuation etc. but that is all part of the deal. I am slowly learning to cut myself some slack.

I had a dream a couple of weeks ago. The gist of it without going in to all the convoluted details that dreams entail was that I need to be OK with not doing things perfectly. Knowing that there is perfection in imperfection!

WOW what a concept for those of us who are afraid of not being perfect right! This journey of life and grief is like that too. It may feel imperfect and messy at times and we have times when we are hard on ourselves for still feeling “this way”. As if there is a time clock on grief. Well there isn’t. It just is and will continue to have a life of it’s own as long as it needs to. We need to learn to accept that and be gentle with ourselves.

I also used to think that there was a destination that I needed to reach. I thought that there would come a time when my grief would simply be gone. As the feelings would re-surface my inner critic kicked in saying “why am I still feeling this way”? Another opportunity to be gentle with myself, falling into the arms of acceptance.

Oddly enough when my mom died back in 2008 I grieved for exactly one year. I can’t really explain why but on the 1st anniversary of her death it shifted like a switch was flipped. Of course I still miss her and have thought many times that I wish I could have her here to talk to especially since has Claude died. But sometimes I get the sense that she and Claude are conspiring on my behalf and that feels pretty cool!

Over the past four years there have been many times when I have been able to feel free from the heaviness of the grief. I have felt alive and full of enthusiasm for life again. But things always seem to shift and it feels like I am back to square one. But of course that is not the case. I have to remind myself that square one was the heaviest darkest place, where I could hardly breath my heart and stomach hurt so much. That place where getting out of bed in the morning was a tremendous effort. Waking up repeatedly with that same sick feeling in your stomach remembering what has happened. Feeling the pain so intensely you don’t know how you are going to make it through the day.

I have had variations on that over the years but it will never be that intense again. I am truely grateful for that. I have been able to keep moving forward even though I may take many steps back in the process. I know I have come a long way on this twisty emotional rollercoaster and I intend to keep moving. One step forward and two steps back is yet another part of it.

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