The Lonely Instability of Grief

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This isn’t about fitness. Or weight gain. Or eating healthy.  Not directly at least. It’s about grief, so really it’s about all of those things, I guess. And for the record, I don’t understand this picture, but I think it is hysterical. I feel you tomato. I’ve been there. Give me a call, girl. We can catsup….

I was going to save this post for the beginning of June. The beginning of June marks a year since my best friend died of leukemia. An entire year (almost) has passed, which is remarkable because on more than one occasion I was positive I couldn’t survive without her.

It’s funny that I chose the word survive. For much of the last year, that is all I have felt like I’ve done. One step in front of the other, one day after another. I got up, went to work kept the kids fed and mostly clean and then went to bed only to do it all over again the next day.

That’s the thing about grief that no one tells you. It throws you off. Your schedule is turned around. Your routine changes. You are no longer focused on the illness, now there is a void where all that prior energy was aimed before. And getting back into a rhythm is nearly impossible.

Throughout my life, I have grieved friendships that have ended, relationships that came and went, pets and even toxic relationships that thankfully came to an end. But only twice have I really, truly grieved the loss of life. For my father 20 years ago. And now for my friend. It does not get easier, it’s possible it actually gets harder.

Grief is incredibly lonely. People don’t know what to say, so in turn nobody asks you how you are doing. You feel like maybe you should be doing better since no one is worried about you, but you aren’t better. Your heart is still broken. I have made approximately 5-10 people feel very uncomfortable in the last year when I’ve burst into tears at awkward moments. Each time, I mutter, “sorry, sorry.” I’m not really sorry though, I just hate uneasiness. Luckily, I follow these outbursts up with a well-timed joke. I am nothing if not blessed with comedic timing.

The adjustment to life “after” has been as hard as I anticipated. I could not find my stride, literally and figuratively. Some of the blame falls on the squishy shoulders of the new baby in our household and his willy nilly approach to sleep, but most of it was wrapped in not knowing who I was without her.

I figured it out though. I’m still me. An adult. And being a grieving adult is the worst, because you still have to be responsible and present and show up and be productive. Husband told me last month as I cried drinking a margarita in her honor (I totally order drinks ‘in her honor’ and will use that excuse as long as I can) that she would tell me to get my shit together. He’s totally right. That is exactly what she would do. I just wish she was here to say it to my face.

But here’s the positive note of this sad tomato tale, in the last month, I realized the best I feel is when I’m either running or spinning. I can turn my mind off and only focus on the music or the road ahead of me, or if I’m on the treadmill, the show I’m watching on Netflix (pro tip: Bloodline is a VERY intense show to watch while running).

So I’ll keep running. And spinning. Even though I’m not great at either one. This healthy, clear mind is going to help heal this broken heart.

 

3 thoughts on “The Lonely Instability of Grief

  1. If it wasn’t 1:22 on a Tuesday I’d say we should go have drinks in her honor… but it occurs to me that might not be the most supportive response. That said, I’m available on nights and weekends if you ever do want company in this, and my kid can now take care of himself for hours at a time as long as I am willing to accept that all he is going to do is eat terrible food and play terrible video games. And I have already accepted BOTH of these things, so really just give me 10-15 minutes heads up and I’m in.

    I’ve not been through this myself, but sharing space with grieving people is something I’m sadly pretty familiar with. So please take me up on it. (Her first drink’s on me.)

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  2. 💕 I understand the grieving for your father. I believe it does get harder as well. I get so frustrated and sad when I think of how much my Dad would have loved Olivia and Isaiah. Just like your Dad would have been with Spencer and Stephen.
    I am truly sorry about the loss of your best friend. Keep the memories close to your heart and continue to have drinks in her honor!
    ~ Jeni

    Also I love your witty comedic sense of humor! Runs in the family!

    Like

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