I couldn’t walk after my dad died. My anxiety was crippling. I thought I was also going to die. The grief had manifested so physically that I could barely get up. Every type of food made me nauseous like I was back in my first trimester of pregnancy. I had to stop breastfeeding my 4-month-old daughter because I had nothing left to give.
It was the lowest point of my entire life, but I’m here. I’m moving. Most days forward, some days back. The path I’m on feels unfamiliar, so in a way it doesn’t feel like mine, even though I know it is.
Today I walked for 45 minutes. I made everyone breakfast. I drove Maisley to preschool. I don’t have to Uber to therapy anymore. I’ve never been more grateful to be accomplishing ordinary daily tasks.
There’s been a shift in my grief after over the last couple of weeks. Discomfort is pervasive, but it doesn’t quite feel like I’m on the Hunger Games anymore; on edge every second of the day wondering when and how grief will strike – a hail storm of anger? A tidal wave of sadness?
Still, everything is upside down. Red is blue and blue is green.
My grief has more questions than it does answers. It doesn’t understand, trapped in the limited capacity of my human mind. Why him? Where is he right now?
Every day of this coming year feels like unchartered territory; random ones like May 15th and special ones like December 25th. What will every day be like without Dad? What will it feel like in the spring and summer?
In therapy today I talked about how I’m a little apprehensive every time my mom calls. What if the tone in her voice makes my heart sink to my knees?
My world changed on a hopeful, bright blue, Saturday morning. Sorrow fell out of the sky and hit me like an anvil on an old Bugs Bunny cartoon. A part of me had been waiting my whole charmed life for that phone call.
Would it have helped if I had been worried and fearful all morning?
Not one bit.
Whether I expect bad things or good things, things will just happen. Life will continue to happen. I can feel myself inching toward a shift, because, what if it’s great? What if I expect good things?
Feeling that positivity and hope start to permeate my perspective feels more genuine than living in the twilight of foreboding joy.
Anne Lamott said it best: “To have been born is a miracle. What are the odds?”