Refuge in Grief – Day 17

Grief is everywhere. How can I soften in to my grief, and allow it to loosen a little bit?

Grief is everywhere. 
Grief IS everywhere, and I AM everywhere with my grief. I’m literally all over the place, and I’m not able to do one thing very well. I find myself trying to be a good mom, taking care of the house and bills, imagining a new social life, managing stress, exercising–it’s a hodge-podge all sprayed with a heavy dose of Axe-laden grief. Having a good night’s sleep is elusive, and this does me no good when everything in the day is magnified. Simple situations like attending one of my children’s lacrosse games becomes a kabuki theatre of keeping my chin up and my emotions in check. It takes extra effort and there are tears behind my sunglasses when I remember who is missing at these games.
My social skills with the people I know suck. Whether my tears spill out in conversation and I say “it’s okay that I’m not okay,” or I’m actually laughing at a simple story a little too hard, neither feels quite right. I send the wrong messages to new people I meet. Just call me Miss Inappropriate Timing. I’m either missing the joke or I’m unable to listen and understand what is being said. I would like to make new friends, but there is all kinds of awkward in my over-editing, over-sharing, or over-reacting. Everything comes out wrong when I speak and especially in texts. It’s like I’ve lived alone on an island and my return to civilization requires a full assimilation program to function properly. Where do I sign up?
I am learning some hard lessons. The hardest lesson being that I can’t seem to relate to others in grief. That is the honest truth why I am taking this writing course. Thinking that grief and all could be fixed and prayed through is what I offered to other people, and I learned quickly that there is no solution to this path I am on, WE are on. Yes, I believe and know now just being there and acknowledging others’ truths is a better way to relate. I have learned the importance of thanking someone for sharing their story. I am grateful to hear the words of others because they are helping me better understand myself. 
I wanted to put my grief in the corner and bring it out to talk to it when I felt like it. Instead, through listening to others in grief and how they deal, I have decided to build a house for it. Plant flowers around it, invite others over to visit and share company with me and my grief. But this living out loud which others seem to do with grace, is a raw reality opposite of my previous very private life. It’s new to me, so now I’m new to you. I’m trying to loosen up and go with it all, but I feel judgement at every turn. My hope is that those that have known me forever will have faith in me and my kids they we will be okay. Please hold us up, but just don’t squeeze us too hard. For new friends, I hope they see that I’m trying my best to live in my truth and be a good person. If they like what they see, I hope they stick around and grow with me. 
There is one time of day that is most important to me. When I first wake up, I lay there very still for a few minutes with my eyes open. I feel my heart beating. I can’t see anything in the dark, so I just “feel.” I have awoken to the very worst of feelings and okay feelings. I have even laughed out loud! But regardless, this is a moment for me. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I listen to music if I just want to drown out all the feelings. Each day is different. I am willing to let each day in, and see where it takes me.~Paula

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