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Navigating Through Stone: A Journey of Grief

A journey of grief, real grief for me started 35 years ago with my father's death. I don't believe I dealt with his passing. I was getting married in a few months and I just stuffed it down. It got revived 6 years ago with my brother's death, with John, it was as if a part of me was now missing, and the world was, and still is sadder and less vibrant without him. In so many ways I have been lost with my brother. And now, this year, my emotionally abusive mother's death and physically abusive stepfather's suicide, have completely knocked my legs out from underneath me. I feel lost, not knowing which way is up or down.

Grief feels like being trapped in a dark cave where some days, all I can do is breathe. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote in 'Pushing Through':

'...I think I am passing through solid rock, as the ore lies, alone. Everything is close to my face, and everything close to my face is stone.'

This is how it feels for me. I am constantly restless, unable to rest or truly relax. Sleep is even more elusive.

Grief affects both mind and body differently. In the mind, grief is consciously processed through thoughts and reflections, while the body experiences grief through feelings and emotions. Since my brother's death, I've been in too many hospitals, ambulances, and ORs. Each time I think, this is it, I'll be good now, and then there's a new illness, another surgery. It would be comical if it were, say in a Wes Anderson movie. Each time it almost feels like a reminder or punishment for not dealing with everything that's happened, for trying to push through it. My body, like my mind, is constantly at war with itself and unresolved grief.

I've tried various ways to manage grief, therapy, medications, and even psychedelic treatments. Nothing works for long if it works at all. I sometimes feel trapped, constantly struggling with its unpredictable nature, long-lasting impact, and how it comes and goes as it pleases.

It impacts nearly all my relationships. It leads me to doubt that anyone could care about me. It made me a manipulative people pleaser just to try to feel safe. It makes me less lovable when I'm hurt and angry and don't know how to express it, or who is safe to express it with. It's a rinse-and-repeat cycle for loneliness that I keep cycling through.

Living with grief is like navigating through a storm without a compass, a ship, a crew, or even a raincoat. I stumble, lose my way, and get back up only to stumble again.

There's no manual, no roadmap. The path is often unclear and littered with obstacles. I'm not learning to carry this with grace, rather I'm fumbling in the dark, grappling with the relentless tides of emotions. It's a journey that I never anticipated, and the finish line seems elusive. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m doing it anyway, one uncertain step at a time.

a artistic image of a woman greiving. she is curled up in a ball with her back to the viewerviewer, her skin is crack


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