Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Keeping It Real

A fuzzy picture to symbolize the picture of my life seen through the lens of my blog.
I want this blog to be a real reflection of how I am doing. I don't want it to be all the pretty things of my life or all the hard and painful parts either. Just after Camille died I wrote every day about my grief. At that time it was my whole life. All other aspects of my life were seen through the filter of my grief. 

As time has passed and my heart has healed some, I have written other types of posts about other subjects. Posts about Camille have been sprinkled in where I was feeling them. 

This is the thing I am learning about grief -- it moves like the tides with waves rolling through it. The tides do not rise and fall with the cycles of the moon but with the seasons of our lives. At certain times the grief tide is low and will stay low for a long time. People will think you are all better perhaps. You will even think you are all better, or at least close to it.

But the reality is that often the tides will rise again. There is no reliable predictor for when this will happen or what will trigger the rise. Maybe there is no trigger. Maybe there is just a biological rhythm to this that we don't know about. But when the tides rise the waves of grief come with it. They hit without warning and can sweep you off your feet.

And with time these tides fall again. They recede. The waves seem inconsequential again. All the while life goes on. 

I have had a good long while of low tides. But lately, since just after Thanksgiving really, it seems the tide has been rising. I know I am doing well in my healing progress. I know this is normal and just part of the journey. I just feel I need to keep this portrayal of my life through this blog as real as possible. 

And the real truth is that I have had some really hard nights in the last couple of weeks. I share this only because I want others who are on this path or who know someone else on this path of grief after losing a child to know that this is the nature of this grief. I don't want to seem like some super human person who is "all better" now and is done with the grieving thing. 

I don't think we are ever "done" with the grieving thing. I think the tide just stays low for longer and longer periods of time and waves become less and less frequent. But it does seem to me that the further along the path we get the harder it is to open up and talk about the high tides. They are hard to "bring up" since "how you are really doing" is not the subject of most your conversations anymore. And when you have been doing well for a long while, it is hard to let people know that you are hurting again. It seems people get more "worried" about you if you have a hard few days when you are a year out instead of just a month out.

But the reality is that hard days come at six months out or a year to five years out. That is just the nature of the beast. When they come, they come with intensity. Perhaps this high tide is due to the holidays. Maybe it is the internal clock telling me the 6 month mark is coming. And then again it could be a combination of both or neither. 
Thank you to so many of you living angels out there who have shared so much love to me. I never knew when I thought about doing an angel tree for Camille that I would so need these angels in my home. Thank you. I will write more about the angel tree later this week. I want to get a photo up of it. It is beautiful.

Whatever it is, I am hoping it will pass gracefully. I hope I will feel my way through it since there is no way around it. And between the waves I will treasure the blessings in my life and the moments of joy that these blessings bring me everyday.