This is Day 156 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'm in an extremely strange place today. Most of my life, I have vacillated between being incredibly shy/frightened of being seen, and wanting to be as big and wild and free and truthful as possible. Through this project, I have shared things that are difficult to share in person. In a way, one can be less vulnerable on the Internet, even though it exposes one to so many more people. It's just words on a screen and it's easy to pretend that no one is reading or following along with this project. This gives me a certain kind of freedom to express myself that I really value, while still also valuing the amazing moments when someone reaches out and tells me that they DO follow along with this project, and that it has moved them or helped them in some way.
There are moments where I feel an intense desire to censor myself — to hide away all my thoughts and feelings. I witness the ways my authenticity upsets people. I see the projections others had on me fall away, as I become a raw, flawed human being, instead of whatever they thought I was. This is a good thing ultimately, but it still hurts.
I see my life passing before my eyes like a speeding train. Knowing my true love died at 40-years-old, I look around and wonder how many years I have left. Am I living it how I would like? Not really. But I don't know how to live the life I want. I think part of me thinks I don't deserve to.
Today I want to silence myself. I want to sew my lips shut, so that I can never again speak, or kiss, or drink, or breathe. This feels awful. I'm so tired of feeling awful.
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
- What Joe Biden Has Said About Dealing With Personal Tragedy And Grief
- Death, Grief & Shattered Assumptions
- Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong
- How Grief Can Make You Sick
- What's Your Grief?
- The Grief Geek
- 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 Losses, 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.