Today has been very interesting. It's not unlike other days that I have had, but today I was finally able to recognize the root of my off-ness (yes, I just made up that word).
Today started off like every other day. Waking in the early morning, before the sun rises. I lay in bed for hours. Either trying to fall back asleep, or just thinking about TJ; TJ and all of the things I have to do that day but don't want to. Like I said last night, if I had my way I'd just cut the bullshit and take care of myself completely. It's so hard to get motivated to take those first steps out of bed. Every morning, it takes hours to make the move from the bedsheets to the shower. I wish I could say that I am exaggerating, but I am not. My day begins around 4am, and I make it to the shower by 9am, sometimes later. It's not depression that keeps me from moving. It's wanting to devote every thought to TJ and only TJ. To my grief journey and only my grief journey. I'm not lying there weeping. But some times I am. But what I am doing is right for me. I do only as I feel I should. I am compelled. And I obey.
Everyday people in my path of life ask me how I am doing, or if I'm 'ok'. Today, I can say that I was 'ok' during the work hours. Especially compared to yesterday. My work load was busy, but not too overwhelming. I was plugging away on my task list and didn't shed a tear. Sure, I thought about TJ all day, but I was cruising along. Doin the do. It wasn't until I was on my commute home that I felt crushingly sad. But the only feeling that was more dominant than sadness was confusion. I really thought I was having a 'good' day. How could a good day change so quickly and with so much force? I felt so off when that question formed inside my brain. I mulled over and over again, trying to figure it out. Was I just fooling myself thinking that today was 'good'? Or was I projecting 'crushing' sadness just because I hadn't felt incredibly sad yet that day?
When I got home, I plopped down at the dinner table with my Mom. I looked over at her and said "I feel like shit". But I couldn't tell her why because I really didn't know. I started talking about how I hate driving anywhere near the hospital now. That I walked in with my love, and walked out alone. And how every other time I had been there it was in celebration. A birth. Visiting friends with their new happy bundles. And now my last memory of that hospital is the death of my husband. But even talking that out with Mom wasn't helping. I just couldn't figure out this feeling I was having. We went and sat in the living room and she looked over at me; "How are you experiencing this grief?" Wow. Just wow. I had absolutely no clue how to answer that question. I had never thought of that before. How am I dealing with this grief? I know how I'm processing my feelings and emotions, but how was I really experiencing this? I told her that I didn't know and that I was constantly confused. How could I feel this immense loss, and still function? It is shocking to me every day that I am able to function. Shocking. I have true moments in my day filled with genuine joy, genuine laughter, genuine lightness. But I still don't understand how that is at all possible to have genuine pleasure amidst all of this intense pain. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought of Dr. Miller's correction. I realized that I could not feel intense pain without the life TJ and I had together. And I could not feel joy without the life TJ and I had together. Without TJ, neither of those emotions could exist. I feel pain because I mourn the life we had, and the life we could have had together. However, I couldn't know such joy in life if it weren't for TJ showing me, teaching me, and loving me. One can not exist without the other.
Average life and deep grieving are parallel lines that I walk simultaneously. And again, I realize that I can not have one without the other. I live for him still. I try hard to live how he showed me to live; to be jovial, mindful, reflective, and true to myself. I live with the joy of my memories; I live with the pain of those same memories. This is just the way that it is. The way that it has to be. This is my journey. But having this revelation, this light bulb switched on to illuminate one of the many off-putting, uneasy feelings I've felt these past three months, does bring moments of clarity. Being able to recognize it, and learn from it, begets peace in and of itself. Even if that peace is short lived. I know that I will follow the flow of this new life, and I hope along the way to have many many more revelations. Because with revelations comes peace. And peace is all I can hope for in the end.