I’m sitting outside of my extended stay. There’s a pretty busy road that runs in front of it. It’s windy outside because the sky keeps threatening to rain. It did earlier, while I was trying to put air in my tires. A task that has been on my to-do list for some time now, which sadly is still undone. Not due to the rain… but because the machine was out of order at the gas stationed I stopped at.
Today my grief feels like waiting. Today my grief feels like holding my breath and counting down the days until I have to say goodbye.
I don’t like waiting. And I don’t like goodbyes, so currently it feels like there is sandpaper underneath my skin, rubbing, scratching, scrapping, and I don’t know how to get it to stop. I don’t know what will alleviate this sensation. What will heal it. Ease it. Make it go away and leave me in peace.
The question of, “Is this an insecurity?” answered with a “yes,” doesn’t do much to help me. I don’t like thinking of myself as insecure. I don’t like thinking of myself as weak.
I’ve been told to think of it as, “I’ll see you next time.” But what if there isn’t a next time? What do I do then?
Not everyone is meant to stay for forever. Some people are temporary, walking with us for a time, and then leaving to continue on their on path. I know that about life. I accept it as a fact. So why, then? Why does it still hurt to think of some of these people not being in my life any longer? If I accept something as truth, how is it I still resist it?
Today my grief feels like sadness.
Today my grief isn’t about mom. Today my grief is about the future and where I’m going to end up and what I’ll have to do to get there. Today is another day where I question if what I am doing is right.
I know it is. I know once I am in Vegas and with family and going to the dojang, once I am doing the things that I feel will fulfill me, I know I’ll be ok. I’m not good at transitioning. I worry when I do. I fret.
Maybe today is a bit about mom because normally when I feel this way I call her. I would ask for her advice. I would spew all of the things I feel into the air, letting them go, knowing that someone was hearing my fears and that I was understood.
I haven’t found a replacement for that. No one can replace mom.
The gym helped a little. Maybe that’s why it was easier to cry earlier. And I feel better for having cried. For having let the emotions out, but where do I go from here? Where am I in the landscape of my mind? Physically I am sitting on a sidewalk in the shade watching the cars drive by. I’m watching people continue on with their lives as if none of my confliction matters. And in the vastness of the universe I suppose it doesn’t. Things will continue on as they are. People will live. People will die. Trees will grow. Planets will turn. Stars will shine. Rain will fall.
My sadness, my fear, isn’t going to stop any of that from happening. The only thing it will do is take away from my peace of mind. It will take away from my present and what I could be experiencing right now.
I want to feel fulfilled and yet I don’t know how to do that yet. What will make me happy? I don’t know. And my knee jerk reaction to that question is nothing. My life is barren. My life is pointless. All life is pointless without mom.
My grief is loneliness.
My grief is wondering when I will wake up and feel whole and like myself again. It’s realizing that I’ll most likely never be back there ever again. I’ll never be able to go back to who I was, how I felt, before mom died. This is the new me. This is matriarch me. This realness that I feel within myself… This is something that isn’t going to go away. I don’t know what to do with it yet. I don’t know how it fits into my identity, and with everything else I’m still having to figure out I guess it’s no wonder that I don’t know where it goes.
Who am I?
My grief is questioning.
I don’t know who I am. I know my name. The name I was given. What does that name mean, though? What does that name represent? What type of picture would be drawn of me through my characteristics and personality traits?
That’s fractured for me at the moment. With the ending of a relationship, an intimate connection, I am filled with hateful veil words that I have to work through. Am I those things? I don’t want to be. I don’t want to think of myself as a negative person. But I question myself. I question if they’re right. I know their words are most likely just hatefulness meant to hurt me. But it’s working. I’m letting it work. I’m letting myself entertain the idea that maybe they’re right. Maybe their words are truth.
I don’t want them to be truth. I don’t want their words to be part of my portrait. So If I don’t want that then why am I letting it happen? All I have to say is, “This isn’t me,” and be done with it. Let the words go. Let them run off of me like so much water.
But I’m not and that’s why they hurt. I’m holding on to them. I think on them, my mind cycling on them, over and over. I cut my ego with these knives, these words, when really I should let them go. I should put them down and move on.
I wonder if it’s a process, this letting go. I am done with the relationship. Truly I have made peace with that aspect of my situation. But the words… does it take longer to heal from those? I suppose the first step is to remove the offending object from the wound. It’s hard to heal when you keep stabbing yourself, right? So if I make peace with these comments, if I stop stabbing myself with them, then I can start to heal? Maybe?
My hair, a small piece of it keeps blowing against my face with the wind. It reminds me of how I shaved my head. How that was symbolic for me. Returning to my roots. Returning to me. So much has grown in the past year and half. So much has happened during that time.
I am still me. I don’t think we ever become different people. Yes, we do change. Our priorities shift. Our morals may fluctuate. What we cherish and deem as important… We’re dynamic, but, in the end, we are always the same soul.
I don’t want my soul to turn to one of apathy. Anger. Regret. Hate.
I want to love and be compassionate and I want to remain as I was at my core. I want to remain a beautiful soul, and I guess part of that is accepting that there is a beauty to sadness. Sadness is not in itself a bad thing. It is part of the balance. It’s how we appreciate and understand when we’re happy. The contrast between the two… It allows us to understand others. Empathize, connect, bond. It allows us to grow. It allows us the solitude to think and figure things out. It’s the stillness, the quiet. The loneliness.
I need to keep being kind to myself. It’s still less than three months. My official year of mourning hasn’t started yet. Not until I’m in Vegas, still a month off into the future. I’ve made a lot of progress and I feel I have done relatively well given my situation, but the true healing… that I have been waiting to start. In my head it hasn’t started happening yet, and maybe that is improper of me. Maybe that is discounting everything I have achieved so far. I can still start my year officially once I have moved and still accept that I have begun healing and moving forward.
I guess that’s something else to keep in mind. This chapter of my life isn’t over. I can’t move to the next one without closure and closure hasn’t happened yet. But that doesn’t mean that some parts of the story can’t overlap. I am still in Orlando, but I have still had experiences here. Experiences that have helped build me up and realize things about myself. Things that have healed new and old wounds alike.
Today my grief is waiting, but sitting outside and having written, my fingers moving over the keyboard as my eyes watch the cars going and going, I’m aware of how it is a nice day, and that I should be enjoying it. I have dinner to look forward to. I have a hello in my near future to combat the sadness. I have people who are warm and loving and caring and who accept me even when I am sad.
I have love in my life. Love and support I am grateful for. And that makes today worth it. That makes being awake and showered and dressed wroth it. Knowing that I have people who love me unconditionally.
That fills me with a feeling of acceptance and calmness. Maybe not happiness, but a realness. I am loved. This is a fact. I accept this as a truth about me.
I am Jennifer Conley and I am loved.