Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Haunting We Shall Go

I understand the concept of haunting in a whole new way these days.

My life feels haunted.

And I feel like I am running from his ghost. Running from the total and complete overwhelm of grief. Racing up the shore so that the wave doesn't crash on me, and take me under her grips, and drown me.

I do everything I can to avoid slowing down, both in my head and in my activity. I lie in bed in the mornings, frantically calculating when I could get pregnant again. I spend my days scheduling "self care" (acupuncture, chiropractic, therapy) to such an obsessive amount that perhaps it's no longer self care, but just distraction. Wishing on stars. Writing lists and lists upon lists of to-dos. Racing around. Anything to keep me from stopping, breathing in, and feeling the emptiness in my heart. It creeps up on me, and I feel my heart start to race. I feel my chest tighten. And I feel that sense, that urgency, that fear. Run. Run for your life. It really does remind me of a good old horror flick, being chased, sheer terror in my eyes, barely able to breathe.

And yet, every time, it catches up with me. Today it was at the sink, doing dishes. I had felt it creeping up since my eyes opened this morning, but had made it a good couple of hours before it finally caught up with me. I started screaming for Otis. I wanted to smash every dish in the sink. I wanted to slam things against the wall. My body heaved, and my heart felt like it was breaking anew all over again. I wanted to throw things, smash things, anything to get the haunting out of my head space. Instead, I just sobbed into the soap suds. I felt my legs buckling under me. I wailed and sobbed and howled.

It passed, as it always does.

I can't help but fear that all this running is going to come back and make it worse somehow. I worry that somehow I'm trying to bypass grief and what I'm doing in fact is going to make it a thousand times worse. I feel guilty for having days where I barely cry at all, days when it feels like it's all going to be okay somehow. I then worry that by having days like that it somehow means it's going to be worse later on down the road. And at the same time, I am terrified of the monsters that hide behind every corner, just waiting to attack me. I am terrified of the ghosts. I am living a haunted life.


Angela said...

I remember those days so clearly. I didn't want to feel so awful anymore so I ran as fast as I could, but the grief always caught up with me.

Two weeks after she died I went an entire day without crying. I felt horrible, as if I was forgetting her, or somehow not doing the grief thing properly.

We're all on different timelines, the grief ebbs and flows for all of us, and there is no right or wrong way to mourn.

Anonymous said...

It is haunted isn't it?
I don't think you are hiding from the grief, or trying to bypass it. The moments of light come not because you are running, but because you are standing- ready to take them in.
It is all an ocean Sarah- the waves pull us in and push us out with the movement of the tides. Through your pain and fear, I hope you know that you are not alone. When the tears come let them flow and know that there are so many people around you to comfort you and lift you u with love and support.
Thinking of you my friend...

Maddie said...

After Matilda died I felt anxious all the time - like something bad was about to happen. Rationally it didn't make sense to me - the worst thing had already happened and I didn't need to feel anxious anymore - just overwhelmingly sad. But anxiety is a normal part of grief.

There were days too where I didn't cry as much and then felt guilty and then like it was going to come back and get me. I still do feel like this occasionally - I did particularly around Matilda's birthday and anniversary. I used to remind myself that there's going to be plenty of sad days/moments to come so take the good ones when they appear (not sure if that makes sense).

Maddie x

Hope's Mama said...

I could so relate to this. I certainly had days like this when I was where you are now. Gosh, it is so early for you. You are certainly in the thick of it.
Just do what you need to do. It is all about survival now, and I know sometimes that can seem impossible without him.
Love to you.

Missy said...

No matter where we hide, the ghosts will always find us. I think the best we can do is to learn to live with it, them, everything. I wish I knew how, but I'm still learning. Thinking of you!

sarah said...

Mamas, thank you. I woke this morning to these comments and can only say that I feel so blessed to have you by my side as I walk/run/hide/swim through my days.

(And Maddie, yes, what you write makes perfect sense to me.)

hayley said...

I wonder if that frantic busyness is a type of self preservation, a break that the mind inserts becasue it is too much to feel the full force of grief all of the time. love you.


kate said...

your fellow BLMs are so wise ... i am so glad you have them with you as you navigate your grief.

FWIW i can understand why you would want to run even as grief chases you down - it is too much sadness to sit with all the time. it is only human to want to catch your breath in any way you can.

kate xx

Lani said...

this is the hard part sarah. the putting a time limit on when you will be pregnant again. you know my story. its what is making things hardest for me. take care of yourself every day, for you, and no other reason. get your body strong and healthy again for you and for the future baby you will have. its what has given me the most strength in all of this.

we're learning to find joy in each day. life is full of shit and awesomeness. what happened to us is the shit part. but there is also awesomeness too (you and e's relationship). there will be more shit, and more awesomeness.

us yogi's need to keep reminding ourselves what its all about- being present. feel your anger, sadness, grief, whatever, everyday when it hits. move through it. and continue on. but what is killing me is the time limits on when i'll be pregnant again. i wish i could tell the me a year ago to chill the fuck out.

easier said then done. i am there. i am in it. i know where you've been and where you are. just keep feeling sarah. i wish we could meet for coffee and talk for hours.

sending you all the love and strength i can muster up right now.