Each day when I first wake I have a headache. For just a moment I wonder why, then I become aware that my daughter is still dead and I am still in a permanent state of grief. It’s a strange thing, grief. I thought I understood it before, having lost others I loved dearly and having comforted friends and family through their times of loss, but this is different in so many ways. Grief for the loss of my child is so much more, so much more everything. The sadness is deeper and wider. The pain is more painful and intense and sneaks up to smack you without warning.
I find myself most distressed by my inability to concentrate. I actually had to get out my recipe book to make biscuits the other day. This is ridiculous. I have been making biscuits from memory for years and now I have to measure out everything in separate bowls and cups before I start or I forget whether I already put stuff in. Probably this will get better with time as I move through the stages. The problem with there being stages of grief is that they do not line up single file where one can move from one to another, rather one stage seems to have passed and another to begin when all of a sudden your heart goes right back to the beginning and total devastation slams you to the ground.
Then just when I feel strong enough to go ahead and meet friends for a drink a song comes on the radio in the car that reminds me of a happy time and I break down and cry because that time is gone with her and will never come again. Damn. Now I have to blow my nose, repair my makeup, breathe deeply and go into the bar to order a drink. I hug my friends, say I’m doing okay and find a way to make conversation. It actually helps and I resolve to accept more social invitations.
Most of my life I have written to entertain myself, to record memories, to share ideas. Now I find that holding a thought long enough to put it on paper is a challenge. If someone asks me how I feel before I can put words to my current state it changes and I go from at peace to distraught to anxiety ridden to okay I guess and settle on saying I’m okay I guess. Much of the time staying busy is the only way to get through the day. So I clean, cook, shop, rearrange the house, take a walk, do pretty much anything that keeps me moving and requires the use of my mind so that there is no room in my head for anything else.
Today has been typical of my days since Teri died. I have felt up, down, frustrated, grateful, lost, agitated, and even briefly calm. It seems likely to me that there will be many more days like this one before there is a day of serenity. Oh how I long for a day of serenity.
What I know is that I need to write down how each day changes, or not, so that when progress is made I can recognize it.