A bend in the river

“Andy Dufresne: Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

I’ve been very busy at work recently working late nights and several weekends. When push comes to shove, my mind goes into auto pilot and even though I detest the long hours, somehow when I’m involved, I’m in.

So in the midst of it all, I suddenly realized after a few days that I had been actually thinking about work all the time. I was scared that once the work pressure plateaued, I would be sucked into the emptiness again.

It did hit again this weekend as the now familiar silence started ringing in my ears. But I noticed that the pain wasn’t as intense. Yes the sadness was there but suddenly there was also a new determination to move ahead.

I don’t know if this is momentary or something more lasting but whatever it is, I welcomed the feeling. I had forgotten what getting up in the mornings and not feeling the stabs in the heart were like.

I found myself talking to people at work, making small talk and outside of work, actually reading the current issue of national geographic. The past editions still lie on my desk at home unopened.

I felt like a small window had opened again and though it’s not all rosy, maybe I could do this, maybe I could survive and come out on the other side.

My scarred self refuses to believe what I experienced. It tells me it won’t last, that I’m deluding myself. It says I can’t touch life again. But my heart says there’s hope, just as the seasons change, these dark clouds won’t hover forever.

A grief journey doesn’t have to be only about sadness. Loss is as much a part of life as love is. One follows the other. I don’t believe in moving on for I can’t forget and just move on. I’m not wired like that, none of us are.

But I do believe in moving forward and it only comes after you have experienced pain head on, only after you have let every feeling surface and see it create ripples and then slowly disappear.

You move forward with the past not without it because the past merges into who you are today. People often talk of letting go but I disagree, moving ahead doesn’t mean a clear break with the past. To me it means making peace with your past and letting it become a part of who you are today.

Unfortunately this journey has no milestones because you will revisit the same emotions again, you will walk the same path yet again but you will get back on the highway. And again back on the dirt roads.

But that doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress. You are getting better at getting back every day . This has been my experience as I walk this path every day.

So today as I was driving, my son suddenly started talking about his mom, he often does and so lovingly that you have to be thankful for the dark glasses. Yet another bend and then after a few moments spent fighting tears, back on the road again.

Peace and courage.

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2 thoughts on “A bend in the river

  1. Rishi, What you describe should give you hope. In my experience, these “moments” will begin to come more frequently. They may stay a couple of days or they may move away quickly. But now, they will keep returning and eventually they will stay. Now, that does not mean that you are “over” this terrible time. No, I don’t know if that ever happens. But I do now that you adjust, day by day to a new normal. I remember clearly feeling that glimmer of hope when I laid my head on a pillow one day and realized that it was the first day my eyes didn’t hurt from crying – I had actually gone a complete day without crying. That was a landmark day and soon it was two and then three – I began to experience a new normal which each day showed me a component of living without her. Soon I didn’t expect the phone to ring, or the door to open. As you will, I moved forward. I agree you don’t “move on”. Because to me that means to have passed over that experience.. I could never say I passed it over – I still live it. And so many things are reminders and the boys look like her and talk about her – and suddenly the pain runs from my eyes and tightens my throat…I suspect that will be part of my new normal. Blessings………as always my friend.

  2. Thank you Debbie for sharing your experience. Memories both hurt and comfort.. It’s the nature of this journey I guess. We all carry the love and pain in our hearts.. And both run as tears sometimes..

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