Pushing, pulling, dragging- it’s not easy no matter how you do it. I’ve dealt with grief before, more than once. It doesn’t get easier, but it gets familiar.
Like falling, I suppose. As a kid, you fall sometimes. Maybe from your bike, skates, or a tree, and it seems devastating. You think you may never do that activity again. But you have people who care for you, tend to you, and slowly your cuts heal. It does not mean that you won’t feel pain the next time you fall. Or that you don’t mind it. Nope- you still don’t like falling. You still need time to heal. Some falls are worse than others. Some break things while others just bump and bruise.
You may try to avoid dangerous activities for a while, thinking that’ll save you. But people slip on ice, trip on their own feet, or get dizzy and fall for no fault of their own. It doesn’t matter how much you try to prepare yourself. It is still going to hurt, and the healing process – well – it is just that: a process.
This week will be two months since the inevitable death of my dog. I knew it was coming. I had known for well over a year that her time was soon. Without an actual birth date, I was only guessing at her age, so every day was a treasure during her last years. Each survived alignment was a remarkable success. But like every damn thing on the planet, she had an expiration date, and her time came to be done with being alive.
Done on this earth.
Done being my girl.
I could tell she was ready.
No. I was not ready. Who can be prepared for death? You accept, but you can’t ever actually be ready. If you warn me that you’re going to punch me in the face and I’m not allowed to block or fight back, the only thing you saved me was a shock. All the pain and agony cannot be avoided. And the warning would never make the healing go faster.
How could I have been ready to say goodbye to the beating heart that was with me day and night for almost 13 years?
This week is also the first anniversary of a dear friend’s death. She was a mother, a grandmother, a friend, a sister, a loved boss, a fantastic neighbor, and an all-around great person. The world is still dealing with the emptiness of her departure.
Pushing past grief. Because life goes on. Time goes on. Time and space. They are supposed to be the same but death seems to break them apart. Time shrinks, and months pass like seconds while space grows. So much empty space. Empty moments. I’m sure a scientist out there could tell me why, but those explanations won’t help. Their answers won’t help push.
Pushing past grief. It takes energy and wipes you out. It steals from you. And the horrible thought that getting over your grief means you’ve stopped loving the person you’ve lost. It’s not true, of course, but that’s where the brain goes. You get stuck and can’t keep pushing.
This is the first weekend since my girl died that I’ve been at home. That I’ve been brave enough to be here rather than out with distractions. The first time I’ve sat down to draft a blog. The first time I thought about writing again, other than in my journal. A part of me thinks I may never tap into my creative mind again. I’ll never be able to string two good thoughts together. The last thing I want to do is sit still and dive into my brain. I want to get out, move, escape, run – push through.
Yet my journals tell me that words help me heal. Words help me push through. I write things I may need to get out but maybe can’t say out loud. Words that I need to say but don’t know anyone willing to hear them. So I am trying to write this blog. I may run out of things to say. I may lose my interest in life and have no reason to write a shared word. I may stop pushing for awhile.
It’s one thing to lack inspiration; it’s an entirely different thing to lose motivation. That’s when I tell myself it’s ok because I have a different task. I’m busy with other challenges. I’m busy pushing- dragging, shoving, fighting past grief. Who knows what’s on the other side, or if I’ll even like it when I get there, but I’ll keep pushing. It’s what we all do when we become trapped by grief.