This is Day 101 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
I spent the weekend in bed crying. I barely functioned as a human being. When I woke up this morning, my hands were sore and I realized that during my sobbing, I was clenching and grabbing my dress, right over my heart, over and over. I was holding on for dear life — I was trying to stay inside my body. I didn't want to lose myself completely to the grief. I didn't want to be swept away in my ocean of tears.
What do people live for? I remember asking this question even before my husband suddenly passed away, so maybe part of this grief is very, very old. Perhaps it is pre-verbal. Perhaps it is from a past life.
I don't actually know how or why I am still functioning at this point. I am an empty vessel. I go through the motions. I listen and watch as people talk to me and I wonder why they care about me. I don't care about me, so why do they? They don't know how black and ugly I am inside. They don't know how frightened, anxious and sad I am, all the time. I keep walking. I stay upright. I try to feed myself. I pet my kitties. I try to sleep. I don't know what I'm doing. Somehow I am still alive. Somehow my body fights to live when the rest of me wants to lie down and never get up again.
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:
- Filmmaker Gemma Green Hope made a short animation in memory of her grandmother
- Photographer Sarah Treanor Takes Moving Self-Portraits to Cope with Her Fiance's Death
- 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:
- Modern Loss's excellent resource list
- The writings of Tim Lawrence
- The Rules of Grief are for Other People by Shawn Doyle on The Good Men Project
- Grief Bibliography on Grief Healing
- 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
- Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief
- The Geography of Sorrow: Francis Weller on Navigating Our Loses, interviewed by Tim McKee in Sun Magazine
- How to Be a Friend in Deed by Bruce Feiler in the New York Times
- 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.