loss is an interesting thing. other-worldly...like being underwater where every sound is muffled and you can only tell what someone is saying to you because you're watching their lips move; a crushing tightness in your chest from being unable to draw breath without drowning. in the beginning, you move through days in a blur trying to make decisions, forgoing showers for sleep, trying to remember to eat and feeling like you have to take care of others around you, easing their sadness when you can barely contain your own.
the passing of time certainly helps. at least it has for me. there are days and weeks which go by where i don't think at all about my first husband, filled instead with my life as it is now. sometimes though, it hits me...a smell, a sound, a song, a movie, a taste, a place, a situation, and a deep sadness courses through me and, quite literally, takes my breath. for many years, my m.o. at these times was to 'get busy' and push those emotions down, down, down. i instantly owned scarlet o'hara's immortal words, "i can't think about that today....i'll just think about that tomorrow." it's taken me about 10 years to stop doing this. 10 years to allow myself to feel the sadness when it comes up instead of trying to ignore it.
about four years ago, i met a woman who'd also been through a loss just two months after my own. we didn't meet because of it. weren't introduced because we had something in common. well, we did...but we weren't aware (at the time) that the deepest commonality would be this. instead, it was something discovered later; a discovery that was a huge turning point for me. our losses were both different yet similar and for the first time i was able to talk with someone who got it. who got me. who i could talk to without guarding my words.
today is the 12th anniversary of the loss of her son. i've marked this day with her before as she has with me on the anniversary of jeff's passing. we've talked, we've helped, discovered and let go. because of this relationship, i've been able to grieve now in ways that i never did nor felt like i could when the loss was newer.
if you've suffered a loss of any kind ~ old or new ~ i have no advice to give you; no words of wisdom or book recommendations. i feel you, though. i grieve with you, remember with you and rise up with you...