Grief … gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness.
~C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
It is really impossible to convey the bizarre nature of life after traumatic loss to anyone who has not lived it.
And yet, here I am, trying my best to do just that.
I guess I always hold out hope that at least one heart will be affirmed in his or her experience or one heart will be made aware of how to offer compassionate companionship to someone they love.
Since Dominic ran ahead to heaven my family has operated in two worlds: one where every heartbeat taps out a rhythm of, “he’s not here, he’s not here” and another where we live, breath and move as we have always done.
But there are things I’ve had to lay aside for these past four years. Things that used to consume time, talent, resources and energy that I just. could. not. do.
Before Dominic ran ahead I was a list making fool. I was a manila folder maniac. I was a put-things-in-their-place person.
That ended when Dom left us.
From that day forward, I have hung on by a thread.
I’ve managed by assigning things to piles or see-through plastic bins stacked mile high in the room that used to be his. If forced to locate an important document, it takes hours or days to find it where before I could put my finger on it in minutes.
I feel like these years have been both a horrible journey and a giant parentheses in the story of my life.
While forced to carry on and meet every necessary obligation, every ordinary daily, weekly, yearly chore-it’s been kind of a dream.
I am just now beginning to reclaim some of the long-neglected corners of my house, my heart and my life.
I’ve hauled out the manila folders again. I’m organizing some of the piled up papers so that I can once again lay hands on them in a timely way.
I cleaned my covered porch of years of dust, bugs, tools and random items so I can sit outside and enjoy the spring breeze.
I’ve purchased hanging baskets of flowers to brighten the front entrance and am remembering to water them (a giant leap forward!).
I’m writing more cards, sending more birthday greetings and making more personalized gifts for friends and family.
I still feel like I’m moving through dense fog some days but the corners are lifting and I occasionally see the sun light around the edges.
My life has been profoundly changed.
My life will always be informed by my loss.
But I am slowly learning to live this new way, with this new me and to be productive once again.