It’s been a while since I’ve written anything… I started doing grief worksheets in counsling. I think they’re helping… I don’t know. I feel raw right now. I’ve realized I still have a lot to work on/through in regards to losing you. There are some mentalities that I need to address…
I wanted to post my first worksheet so you can see what I wrote. I love you. Forever and for always.
Understanding My Grief
1: I am having the hardest time adjusting to:
You not being here. Physically here. A presence, a person, I can sit across from. Someone I can introduce people to. You were more than your body, but without your body present, it’s not much different than talking about an imaginary friend. No one in my life will know you now. No one will understand what I lost when you died. If I talk about my spiritual connection with you then people think I’m crazy or unstable or having a “hard time letting go”. It sucks. I know you’re still here but I can’t talk about that with really anyone because no one can understand the connection I have with you so does it even really exist? Is it a coping mechanism inside my head that really means nothing? Is it real? Are you truly still here? I don’t have a way to prove it. There’s nothing quantitative that scientifically shows that I’m not alone; that you really are still a part of my life. It’s just me, alone, being my own cheerleader and telling myself the motivational things I want and need to hear to keep going and fighting and struggling and trying. It sucks. It sucks to feel ridiculed and judged and scared to talk about things that are important to me. You ARE important to me. You’re still a cornerstone of who I am and it feels like I can’t share that with anyone anymore. Our relationship isn’t physical, tangible, viewable anymore. It’s all hippy-dippy spiritual stuff with self-imposed importance. No one understands it, not even myself. It’s new and different and scary and I miss the way things used to be.
2: I feel most triggered when I:
Am tired. More than anything I miss you the most when I don’t get enough sleep. When I’m running on fumes and I feel like my world is going to crush me. That’s when I want to hear your voice the most. That’s when I want to call you and tell you how my day went and what my next days look like. That’s when I want your support the most. It’s not even that you would tell me how to fix my problems. You would just be there. You would listen to me. You would make me feel like everything is and will be ok and that I can handle all of the shit I put myself through. You would make me believe in myself no matter how much I wanted to give up. You always believed in me.
Aside from being tired, I am most triggered when I accomplish something. When I reach a goal or hit a new personal record. When I do something you would be proud of. I feel triggered then. Everyone thinks these things are good things and that I should be happy, and part of me is. But part of me is sad, too, and hurts, and no one understands why, or they think I shouldn’t feel that way because you would be happy for me. It makes me feel invalidated or that my emotions are wrong because other people dance around them or try to sweep them under the rug. I know they’re not easy emotions for other people to deal with, and part of that is a flaw, a shortcoming in society. But it sucks to feel like I have to hide my emotions all the time, or deal with them alone because I “shouldn’t” feel a certain way. I miss you. I still want you to be part of my life. I still want you to be part of my accomplishments and when you can’t be it hurts, deeply, and to feel like I am wrong for hurting sucks.
3: What happens when I feel triggered?
I cry, sometimes. Other times I lay in bed all day and skip out on the social obligations I’ve given myself. Everything takes more energy than it “should”. Doing dishes or laundry, replying to an email… All of those small, simple things that should be easy to complete feel like mountains that I don’t have the fortitude to climb because what’s the point when you’re dead? All of the trivial things in life feel so much more pointless because in the grand scheme of things they don’t matter. I hurt. I’m bleeding out through a wound no one can see. In those moments the only thing I care about is surviving, somehow, to the next day where I can maybe, hopefully, be better enough, recovered, enough to keep going and do more than I did the previous day.
When I’m extremely triggered I scream. Normally this is while I’m driving alone; where I”m safe from other people and their judgement and worry. I scream until my throat is raw and my voice is hoarse and I have nothing left in my body to give. I scream my rage and injustice and injury into the universe even though I know my anguish means nothing to it. Sometimes I hurt so much that I can’t keep it contained within my being. I HAVE to scream or I’ll suffocate under the burden that is your loss. I haven’t done that in a while. I don’t do it as much as I used to. But it still happens and I’ve learned to not deny those moments their time. They help me survive and if they help me survive then hopefully they’re not a bad thing.
4: Who and/or what is providing support during this time?
Ox provides the most support. He’s the one who listens to me. He’s the one who lets me read my writings out loud. He’s the one who holds me and lets me cry. He’s the one who lets me say “I feel alone” even as he’s holding me. I know it has to be hard for him. I can only imagine how it must feel for your significant other to say “I feel alone” when there’s literally no space between you. He lets me break down. He lets me be vulnerable and sad. He helps me take small steps on the days where I feel like I can’t get out of bed. We’ll do something connective, or he’ll simply let me stay in bed next to him. He has never once made me feel bad or weak for being injured and I appreciate that.
5: When I think about the one I lost I immediately feel:
Hurt. I don’t know if there are words to accurately describe what it is I feel, but hurt is the best term I can think of. My chest feels tight. My heart feels like it’s trying to shatter into thousands of pieces. I feel weak, and small, and vulnerable and broken. I feel like I’ll never be able to be the person I was before; carefree and whole. I feel like I’ll never be able to love the way I did before because I’m so aware of how things can change; how the one you love can suddenly no longer be there and the pain that loss can and will cause. I feel scared because I know I’ll experience grief again and I’m not sure how I’ll be able to handle it next time. I don’t know if it will be the situation that wins because I’m already so tired trying to understand and make peace with the grief I feel for you. I feel battle weary when I think of your death. I feel like I lost my companion and no one will ever be able to fill the spot you held in my life quiet the way you filled it.
6: I express my emotions by:
Not. Lawl… Seriously though, I tend to not express my emotions. I acknowledge that I don’t feel ok, but very rarely do I have a proper coping mechanism that lets me deal with those emotions. I sleep a lot. I stay away from people more. I wait until I feel better, but I don’t know of anything that actually helps to make me FEEL better. It’s like ripping open a healing wound. The only thing you can do is wait for it to heal up again. Nothing makes it heal faster. You just have to give it time and wait and hope it doesn’t get infected or worse.
7: I give myself permission to process what I am feeling by:
Being alone and not giving myself shit for it. By crying because for a while I used to get upset at myself for doing that. Screaming. Writing. Thinking. I give myself permission to feel unconditionally. My emotions are not wrong and they are valid regardless of what they are.
8: What strengths do I have from previous experiences that can help me during this time?
I don’t know. I don’t feel that I have strengths. I go day by day hoping that I make it through and that I do well and that I don’t fuck up. I have no plan for what I’m doing with my life. It’s mostly, “This seems like a good idea…” But is it really? I don’t have you to talk to. I don’t have your perspective. I don’t know how you handled Mawmaw and grandaddy dying. I don’t know how you got through it so I don’t know how I’m supposed to get through it. I’m trying so hard. I’m doing what I think is my best, but is it? Could I be doing better? Do you think I’m doing well? I don’t know what to do, mom. I really don’t and I’m sorry.
9: During this process, I have learned that:
I can survive the death of you. I wish I couldn’t. I wish that was the worst thing that could happen to me and that it would kill me and that it would all be over and we could be together again. But here I am, 4 and a half years later, still going, still accomplishing, still having people think that I’m strong and amazing and a mentor and a role model. I’m on anti-depressants because I can’t cope effectively with my life without them. I bury myself in pointless tasks because staying busy keeps me distracted from my grief rather than actually doing anything about it.
I’ve learned a lot of things about myself, about my grief, about other people, especially those in my life. But I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned; that your death wasn’t the end of my world, and for me that sucks.