Most of the time, I see it coming. I “sense” the 11th & 12th of any month in the air and I know I’m about to get more emotional than “normal,” as if the depth and breadth of my emotional wave is somehow NORMAL. I know holidays will be hard – forever. I know firsts and lasts and Timehop will always be my best friend and my worst enemy.But sometimes…oh sometimes the wheels just fall straight off the overturned apple cart that just went off the rails. Sometimes a grief attack (a phrase someone else coined) comes out of nowhere and you have nothing left but the bloody towel you’ve used to mop up your wounds.
Last Wednesday, I legitimately lost myself in a grief attack so utterly guttural that I was left hyperventilating in a parking lot 3 miles from my home. I blacked out, I couldn’t stand and the stabbing pain of grief was a physical feeling in my chest and forehead that I’d only ever felt twice before. I couldn’t collect myself. I couldn’t NOT cry if I tried. And I didn’t care what was around or about me. It WAS. GOING. TO. HAPPEN. (I’m only thankful that the person who climbed into the car with me that afternoon was one of my very dearest friends and she just…let me.)
It has taken me almost a week to recover and I still don’t feel quite right. I sobbed over what would seem like nonsense all weekend. Cleaning the toilets made me cry because of the missing potty stool. Dandelions growing in the swing set pad made me cry because, well, obviously. The rain made me cry because I was desperate for a bored little girl on my lap to watch Frozen with again. There is dust in her bathtub. DUST. She’s supposed to be almost six. She’s NOT.
I have spent so much of the last 15+ months thinking about all that I miss and long for…I never really let myself feel what never would become. I’m realizing lately that there is a LOT I haven’t processed yet. This being just one of the daunting tasks of working through grief of this magnitude – of this explosive pain. I have to work through all that I DO feel…and I have to work to figure out what hasn’t yet hit me. I have to work out how I handle myself socially, at work, in public settings. I have to anticipate the next wave and I have to be mindful that I’m not the only person in the world who misses her and longs for her. I am but one of many. I have to work (my ass off) to be who Kate would be proud of. NOT fearful. NOT hateful. NOT jealous. NOT wishing my life away. I have to re-learn how to be a friend. A wife. A co-worker. A daughter.
Every single breath takes work when you’ve lost the love of your life. But oh my GOD, I’m trying. Kate, please keep holding my hand…I need you so much right now. Mommy cannot do this without your love from heaven. I am desperate to make you proud. I am desperate to make a difference.
But I am also desperate for you