Grief – Keeping my head above water

Grief is so unpredictable. It’s hard to put into words. It’s hard to describe the feelings that come along with it, the timing, the depth, the triggers, the encompassing numbness. Because its so hard to verbalize, I can imagine how hard it is to support someone in the depths of a deep grief.

Some days and nights I feel like i’ve fallen through the ice of a frozen lake. Like I was slowly walking across that unstable ground causiously, and I misjudged a step.  The water is so cold it’s shocking. Its all around me, taking away all other feelings. Just full body shock. I feel like i’m reaching out of that water, trying to find something solid to grab on to. To grasp something that will help pull me out. But everytime I get ahold of that invisible thing, it breaks off and I slip back under.

I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to break things, and blame someone. But there’s no use in that. It won’t change a thing. That’s a hard thing to come to terms with. That you just have to accept the hand you’ve been dealt, and find a way to live with it. Its very intimidating.

You are all my cheerleaders, just know that. You are all calling me from the shore on the other side. Encouraging me to keep fighting, to keep trying. To keep holding on and to keep my head above water. It may not seem like you’re doing enough. It may seem like I don’t hear you, that i’m not acknowledging your voices.  It may seem like im controlling the situation myself, that I’m not thanking you for the support. But that’s so that I don’t start to panic. I need to stay calm so I don’t swollow more water and lose the strenth I need to keep my head up.

The smiles and happy times that are here now are all real. I love the life I have, I love my family and friends. But it has all changed now. There’s a different quality to that happiness. That’s just the reality of living without your child. No memory, good deed or picture will change that. It patches up the wound, and takes the edge off of the pain, and for that i’m forever grateful.

So please, don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on the person who you’ve been trying to help and support through grief. Keep throwing those ropes and life preservers. Keep the blankets warm. Keep shouting your support and encouragement. Just keep checking in that we’re ok. We may say we’re OK…we probably will. But the support is what is keeping us there. Its more appreciated that I can ever say, I just don’t have the energy to say it. Every ounce I have is being used to keep fighting that undertow. Don’t give up on us, you’re appreciated more that you will ever know.


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