The other day, I heard a fabulous description for grief.
Grief, it’s like you are sitting in your house and your house is bombed. Everything crumbles around you and you are left laying on the floor in a fetal position surrounded by rubble. And you lay there. You lay there for as long as you need. When you are capable, you open your eyes and you can’t see as the smoke is so thick, so you close them again. When are ready, you get up and analyze the scene. Eventually you start to pick up the pieces around you, but you still have to build a completely new house.
I was in the fetal position laying on the ground for a very long time, refusing to even open my eyes, refusing to see our new reality. Friends and family called, texted, visited, sent cards, flowers, meals while my eyes were still closed. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t hear. Life was overwhelming, and I wanted it to end. I was barely alive. Simon was not.
When I finally opened my eyes, the sight was horrific. I was paralyzed and couldn’t move. I closed my eyes and returned to my safe place. My house, our backyard and most likely too much wine.
My eyes are open now, sometimes barely, but open. I am seeing more than I have ever seen before, sometimes. We have spent months and months picking up the pieces around us. And this is just the beginning.
We are building our new house. Piece by piece, brick by brick. I feel as though my foundation is getting stronger. I have found some things that work for me, some things that will support my home and will hopefully keep if from falling again, although we now know that that is never possible. I have found writing. I have found my need to keep my hands busy and be crafty. I have found fresh air and exercise a daily essential. I have found meditation. I have found a group of fabulous women that “get me.” I have found acupuncture. I have found Simon’s smile where ever I can possibly find it. I have found who is willing to stand by and witness this shitstorm firsthand without batting an eye.
It’s a good start, but it’s not all.
Our house needs flooring, framing, window frames, plumbing and hell, I don’t even know what else we need, windows, a door… What do I do about work? My current job does not fit in this new house. I find no meaning in what I do. It is truly just a paycheck at this point. I need to find true meaning. It would be a shame to just go back and do the “same ol’ same ol.’” I need to find a place where I feel valued and where I can find an ounce of joy. What do we do about trying again? Having another baby? A sibling for Simon and a live sibling for Nolan, because he sure as hell wants one. What do we do about where we live when my desire to get the hell out of here and to start over again is still constantly on my mind. What do I do about relationships that seem to be ending? What do we do about holidays as they will always come? What do we do about anniversaries as they too will always come? What do I do about… well, everything?
Eight months after my house was bombed I’ve accomplished a lot. I’ve survived every minute afterwards with only millions more to go.
(Nolan at 8 months old, the cutest baby ever, a button nose, eyes blue like the ocean, full of spark, joy and super mobile. I think of Simon just like this, because that’s all we have.)