Grief does strange things to your personal timeline. Events that happen now, wherever you are in your grief, loop back and connect with the past, connect with your own early days of loss. The past, the present, the futures that can no longer happen – they all intersect and weave around each other.
Writing without the deeply personal is not the whole story of grief. To give the whole story, to give as many handholds as possible in the steep climb of grief, we need to hear personal stories. Each Friday, I’ll post something from my own experience of grief and love. It’s an inside look at love, at grief, at life.
This week, I’m sharing a post I wrote a couple of years ago, on the birth of my dear friend’s daughter. The baby in this post turned two earlier this spring, and the difference, for me, between that birthday and the actual day of her birth is a big one: I look back at the me I was then, just over two years ago, at that time not yet 3 years from Matt’s death.
That day, two years ago, I was brought back to the season of his death so easily; I was prompted back there so viscerally.
Two years ago, time was elastic:
I really did not expect this one.
Yesterday, a friend of mine had daughter #2.
Her first child was born 3 weeks after Matt died. I pretty much missed it. That child, daughter #1, turned 2 years, 7 months, and one week two days ago. I know this because I gauge her age by the age of this After of mine.
So yesterday, I went to see said friend in the hospital, and met the newest member of her clan.
Getting home, I suddenly felt exhausted. Depleted. Just – wrong.
I laid down on the couch to rest. I laid down on the couch, smelled the coming-rain air, the windows open to a warm wind.
I laid down contemplating a meeting I want to schedule with my former boss, with the people I worked for Before all this happened.
As I fell asleep I realized – it could be July. The elements are here – the new baby, the warm wind, the coming rain, thoughts of the same work-place.
It could be July 2009 right now, with all of these things. It could still be July. I could wake up and he will be here.
All of this has been a dream. All of this has been a coma I have been in, some incorrect and parallel world I fell into and now I am coming out. E’s first baby shower was July 12th, 2009, so clearly it has come around again, like Groundhog Day. I will wake up and be back there.
The world will re-start again.
I woke up still wondering, testing it out. The possibility that this has been a dream.
With my eyes closed, I listened for his voice. Waited to hear the sound of his truck pulling in to the driveway. Waited to hear him singing under his breath somewhere close-by. I waited for the silence to be disturbed by a teenage boy bursting in to tackle his father.
None of these things happened.
None of these things happened.
The grief train roared into this house and I had no idea it was coming.
It was not a dream.
I am dropped.
I am down.
It is early again, like the last time a baby was born.
How about you? Has time looped around and stuck to itself in ways that confused your mind? Let us know in the comments, or send me a message.
And remember: registration for the 30 day Writing Your Grief e-course is still open. There is always room for you.