I reached a crisis point in my grief late last week. It was as if all the agony and devastation that lingers right under my skin suddenly became the surface of my skin and I felt like a wild animal that howls its' pain to the night skies.
It didn't help that I'd been ill for almost a week, a vicious flu that tore up my body in every way possible. Those moments of physical illness, of course, only exacerbate our alone-ness. It came with a headache and vomiting and fever, chills, sweats...the whole shebang. Chuck was so good at taking care of me whenever I'd get ill. Which wasn't often, thank goodness, but I could count on him always. And this time I was alone (in that I was without him). Fortunately our son is nearby and he immediately came to lend assistance and support to me.
What happened in the process of this flu was that every bit of the grief that is the baseline to my life clawed its' way into my soul and I felt as if I were suffocating. I couldn't stand any weight on me and tore my clothes off and found a pair of scissors and cut my hair to the scalp again, as I did right after Chuck died. That provided a small bit of relief, temporarily.
And the first day that I felt halfway normal, I drove to nearby Luke AFB and their family advocacy center to inquire about counseling. My hope was that they might point me in the direction of a grief counselor off-base but as it ended up, they took me immediately for an intake, which ordinarily lasts 20 minutes but this wonderful counselor gave me over an hour to emotionally vomit all that is in me.
Another appointment is scheduled for next week. This grief of mine, this grief that so many of us must walk through, is too big for me alone. Since reaching that crisis point, sadness consumes me. Every breath I take is a reminder that Chuck is no longer with me, that I am without him. It holds no meaning for me to hear that he wouldn't want me to feel this way. No shit, is what I respond. I'd rather not feel this way either, thank you very much. Maybe discussing it with this counselor will make a difference for me. She asked me directly if I believed myself to be clinically depressed and I answered no. I'm just grieving normally and deeply. And she didn't immediately reach for her pad to write a prescription. Instead we spoke about Buddhism and Eastern spiritual practices, and Kubler-Ross and near-death studies and parallel universes and she didn't tell me I needed to exercise upon hearing of my woeful self-care. She merely suggested that, as we go along, I might like to take my soul out to refresh itself in the sun and in nature.
Both of us agreed that our meeting wasn't by chance but another example, perhaps, of Chuck sending necessary people into my life when I need them. The odds on her being there that day, the odds of me just taking a chance on going over to the airbase in the first place to inquire about counseling...it all lined up.
Somewhere in me I need to start not just believing, but taking that belief into my heart, that Chuck, who loved me so much in life, is still making sure I'm alright.
Maybe...I hope...oh, I hope...that I will indeed know that again at some point. Maybe that will bring even a little ease to my shredded heart~