The Tides of Grief

sarah_1.png The past week has been hard. I suppose that isn't surprising... Coming down from a really incredible week surrounding my birthday. I don't know if this has happened to any of you, but every so often there is a week or a month in which I feel like someone put me in a giant slingshot and plummeted me into my new life. And not in a bad way necessarily... But more like I finally relax into the new life and begin to enjoy myself there for a bit. I start to have fun in the new and feel some really deep joy there... the sort I didn't know I could still feel. This has only started to happen maybe over the past six months - as I've entered into my third year without him. And it happened over my birthday this year. I was honestly so busy feeling joy that I didn't ever have that sinking "he's not here" feeling. Instead, I felt like he was there, in my joy. He was there feeling my smile and my laughter dance in the air. And it was beautiful.

But this past week hasn't been so good. All I have been able to feel is that deep longing for him and the sensation of falling backwards into the pain. But that's the ebb and flow of this life. It is the tides of living with loss. They rise, and bring you with them higher, farther up the shores of a new life. And then they fall, and you recede back into your old life a bit - Or at least back into the in-between life - to float a while. Over time, we get a little farther up the shore, but its always a back and forth process.

I think there is good reason for this. I think our minds and hearts are very purposeful in how this happens. Because we could not handle letting in a new life all at once... Just the same as we cannot handle all of the pain at once. And so just as our minds only let us process so much of the pain at a time, so too I think it goes with the joy. It doesn't make it any easier of course, but sometimes it helps me to be able to tread the waters a little calmer when the tide draws me back out into my grief a bit. On a week like this past, where I've cried more tears than I knew I still had in me, it does somehow comfort a small part of me to know that it's all part of the cycle of things to sink back into the pain. 

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