Liz Williams sent me a note asking me how I was doing. It came at a time when I was in the absolute pits, thinking there was really no point anymore and I just can’t do anything right, can I? That short note was like a jolt of lightning.
How can I think of giving up on life when I have been constantly lifted up these past two years?
There is a point—I don’t know what it is. Is it grief? Is it mourning? Is it guilt? I don’t know what it is, but there is a point when giving up seems like the only thing left to do.
Just let me lie down and wallow in my grief. Just go away and leave me to be miserable and lost and chaotic and forgotten. Don’t look at me because what has overcome me feels so terrible that it might touch you too.
I was like that.
For a while, I decided I wasn’t good for anyone…even for my children. I thought, if I can just make sure that my kids are in a stable and safe place, then it will be all right.
This moment of despair came in part because no matter how I tried, I just couldn’t write properly anymore. (Still can’t, btw.)
When I write, it seems my words keep turning back to sorrow. I cry. My body aches. I read the words and the words turn into tears.
That is what writing has been like for a good long while.
There is this thing about grief and loss. It’s okay to talk about it for a while, but as time passes, we start to tell ourselves this story—
“You’re grown up. You’re an adult. You’re a strong person. You can do this.”
I also started to tell myself this story:
“Your grief is so heavy and burdensome. You shouldn’t be a burden to others. You mustn’t burden those around you with your grief.“
And so, it goes like that. That story I kept telling myself.
I guess, we all need just that one person to make us face the truth of how much bullshit that story is.
Grief strikes anywhere at anytime. Sorrow has no respect for passing time.
So what if a year has passed or two years or five or even ten?
It doesn’t make loss insignificant.
Just because I still feel the pain of loss doesn’t mean I am no longer intent on living and just because I am intent on living doesn’t mean I no longer feel the pain.
*with apologies to Liz for mentioning her note without permission and for my failure to reply in any way at all.