If the last four weeks and the prior seven years have taught me anything, it is this: grief is a process. At times, it is messy, always unwelcome, and often unpredictable. Grieving is a process of becoming, after loss. When we are in the midst of pain we can and do end up forgetting that. I know I have.
Tied up at the centre of this process is no small amount of fear. I know about the process, because I’ve lived it before several times over. Both fortunately and unfortunately, it changes and shifts. It can be impossible to know exactly what form any new grief will take, or the form of the old one on any given day.
Living ‘under the circumstances’ is hard. As 2014 became 2015, I had a distinct feeling of having limped across the finish line. On one level, this is understandable…on another it is frankly maddening. A new year ‘should’ begin with hope, possibility and anticipation. Mine began quite differently…with apathy.
I am all too aware that this is a vicious circle, the like of which I’d hoped not to explore again for some time. Choosing joy is the obvious option, but I am learning that it is not the easy option by any means. The things that once fulfilled me no longer serve the same purpose – I play music as though it is something I would rather not be doing, and this is the first writing I have done for myself in some time.
Coupled with this, I am faced with having to accept the limitations of my being at the moment. On one level, I know what I ‘must’ do, but the idea of having to make that choice is jarring. I just want to wake up and feel that possibility again, rather than waking up feeling like a flickering candle.
Previous walks along similar paths have taught me that something waits at the other end of this – but once again, it is the process of getting there. Remembering that it is a process is little comfort right now. I must endure it before the end result becomes apparent.
There is a bridge between the person I am, and the person I want to be…once again. Once again, I do not feel brave enough to make the journey alone, though I know I would not. The courage that sustained me during previous journeys with grief appears to be lacking…or else entirely inaccessible at the moment.
My wish then is that your transition into 2015 was smoother than mine. Soon, I hope to remember how to breathe, and gain some joy from these challenging days. It is likely that my next post will be next Friday, if there is a Faber QuickFic competition this week.
I need to get into a writing rhythm again, but ‘needing’ to do things is not motivation enough at the moment.
What entices you back to the page after a long break? Please let me know in the comments – I need some inspiration to restart my practice now.