Grief is supposed to be something you get over. That you move on from. Oh, that it would work that way! Instead, you fold it in, incorporate it into your day and into your being while doing the dishes and emailing clients and taking your car in for a tune-up. It does not go away, probably not ever. But you make peace with it, inviting it in, giving it a seat at the table. There’s no use fighting it — those feelings will just pop up somewhere down the line, maybe in the form of physical distress, if you avoid or deny or minimize them.
But it’s isolating. Even if never said out loud, some still wish you’d feel better sooner rather than later. Be a happier guest at the party. [Ugh, parties; out of the question! Small talk is impossible!] And if the feelings are overwhelming, and visible, most people run. Hard. And fast.
So here’s my dilemma. How to be vulnerable and honest about my process and my feelings even though I know people are over it? That gets tricky. Grief counseling helps. But I keep going, moving along, showing up, rooting around for that inner strength I’m supposed to have. While some dear ones who sincerely care about me quietly drift into the mists.
Anyways, I think I have courage and am willing to jump into this emotional Cuisinart®. I know it’s changing me — sweeping out emotional closets, burning up musty old baggage. I have hopes and dreams of teaching workshops and traveling and painting and loving; I am not done quite yet. My brother’s life expectancy after his diagnosis of aggressive brain cancer (glio sarcoma) in April 2022 was about 4-6 months. It’s been 14. He is declining, and I’m seeing it. A very slow process at least until now and I am happy for all the time I’ve been able to spend with him. I wish there was something as “pre-grief” — that I could prepare for his death. It will be a wallop, for which there is no armor.
7″ x 10″ ink, watercolor, pastel, water-soluble graphite, acrylic on paper = $90