I think of Grief as a "she". A big, round, soft older woman with wide arms and a loving smile. She knows pain, living with it constantly as she feels everyone's loss. Even though worn down and burdened, she still manages to keep some humor. Why do I imagine grief like this?
At this time, almost 17 months later, nothing else comes to mind. Certainly not a monster, horrifying and scary, but rather one who knows sorrow and can empathize. It saddens her that I feel such pain, but at the same time, she knows that it is absolutely necessary for healing, closure, and a chance to move on with life. She is my companion now. She lets me live my life but at times, she needs to be felt in all of her glory. She is cognizant of her power and that too much can be devastating, overwhelming and unmanageable.
She is actually proud of me - that I am able to continue with life, yet still acknowledge her. It may be that too many people actually try to push her to the far recesses of their mind where she cannot move, breathe or help with the healing. Stuffed in a little corner and ignored, her frustration leads to anger which strengthens her power. In fury, she gets out of control and wreaks havoc mentally, emotionally and physically.
But I don’t think she wants to be this way. She only wants to be recognized, acknowledged, and respected. Being aware of her presence, there is no need to be at odds. Instead, we are comrades in the loss of our beloved Josh. From time to time, we need to have a cry, feel sorry for ourselves, think of all that is gone and what will never be, which brings even more tears, until both are drained. After this intense connection, she retreats for a while as she knows that I need a break. And surprisingly, she needs some breathing space too.
As I said in the first post, I think over time, she will become less selfish and needy, allowing other emotions to reside and co-exist in harmony. She will retreat for longer periods of time, knowing that we have spent enough time together. She will be content, realizing her job is almost done. Because of her, I will be at better place - have perspective, acceptance and peace. I will be able to move on.
I hope this is true even though I do not feel it as yet. Because of this, I am okay to keep her in my life, to pay attention and be aware. To not be afraid to let her fill me with her presence. We are in this together - she is my friend. She is not against me, but for me.