|Caged Growth/Caged Grief|
This is Day 55 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
One of the most terrible aspects of my grief is the sorrow, fear and anxiety I feel when I first wake up. Unless I have a friend staying with me, the very first feeling I have upon awakening is panicked sorrow. I'm hyper aware that my bed is empty and that I have to face another day alone. It feels like being in a cage, forever reminded that I am not free of this sorrow.
Today's image is hard for me. There is so much new growth and tender shoots of healing coming up out of the rich dark earth, but I can't quite reach it yet. I feel stuck behind this cage of grief. I've lived with mild depression for most of my life and this grief has accentuated and crystalized exactly what that depression feels like. I can see my life - the richness, the love, the support, the new beginnings - and yet I can't completely feel it. I reach my fingers through the cage and try to touch it, but it might as well be miles away. I need some giant, industrial, spiritual bolt cutters to open up my cage, so I can tear myself through it. I want to feel joy again.
I cling to the knowledge that, even if I can't reach it, the new growth is there. I can see it. Other people can see it. Just because I can't feel it or touch it yet, doesn't mean I won't be able to, some day.
I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:
Art with Grief:
- Photographer [Sarah Treanor] Takes Moving Self-Portraits to Cope with Her Fiance's Death by Jillian Wong
- When the Fall Comes, a film about Grief by Adriana Marchione
- Self-Portraits: Expressing Emotion Through Art on What's Your Grief?
- The Hard Romance of Grief by Mark Liebenow
- The poetry of John O’Donohue
Living with Grief Resources:
- Teresa “TL” Bruce's What to Say When Someone Dies
- They Brought Cookies: For A New Widow, Empathy Eases Death's Pain by Ann Finkbeiner on NPR
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
- The Geography of Sorrow: Francis Weller on Navigating Our Loses, interviewed by Tim McKee in Sun Magazine
- 12 Things to Know About the First Year of Grieving Someone You Can’t Live Without by Laurie Costanza in Elephant Magazine
Thank you, and see you tomorrow.