Feel sad. Let it go. Feel sad. Let it go. A routine that I’d rather not go through to be honest. I sometimes wonder how I can have simultaneous feelings of joy and gratitude for all I’ve been given and worked for, yet also have this sadness that would seem to lurk in the back of my heart and mind. Grief. Grieving. Feels like I’ve been doing that since I was 12. There may have been a couple of years in there where there was not a tragedy but not many more than that.
I was 12 when my Nona died of cancer. That was when I realized that this thing we talked about when our bodies die and our spirits go somewhere else, was happening in front of me. My sisters and I, and our cousin would take turns with the Nivea hand cream and rub it into her hands. She’d ask me to read Psalm 23 to her. Then my mom came into the room told me that Nona was only taking a breath or two every minute. I knew what that meant and went to give her a few last kisses and read her the Psalm one more time.
From that year on, people I knew were dying. Young kids like me, dear friend’s of my parents, parent’s of some of my best friends growing up and dear friends that didn’t make it to 30…suicides, accidents, internal bleeding, overdoses, old age, drowning…cancer, a LOT of cancer.
Grief makes people uncomfortable. They want to make you feel better and can’t. Then they decide how long it should take for you to get “over” it. When you aren’t fine by that time, they start to tell you that you need to let go, which makes you feel worse not better. There is no timeline for this…you eventually get to the point where you realize that you haven’t been crying as much but that doesn’t make you miss those people any less.
Two years ago today, Dan died suddenly. He was a close friend and I found out logging onto Facebook that morning. It was a very emotionally jarring and sad time. I miss his positivity, humor and kindness. I think of him all the time and am looking at his picture on the bookshelf as I write this. Shortly after he passed away, the back issues I’d occasionally experience started getting worse. Yoga and the occasional massage helped but it was always uncomfortable again soon after. A few people made comments about how I had to let him go and to be honest it made me angry.
I would express my feelings of sorrow, grief and anger but never let go of them. I carried them with me everywhere. Since this is life, more loved ones have passed since Dan and my pain has gotten worse and worse. Some days I’d be unable to stand or walk around. I felt constant discomfort and pain. I stopped telling people that I was in pain and would just keep working but I felt crippled.
A week ago I was in so much pain that I had to call in sick to work. I was taking care of my nephews all week and was feeling pretty stressed that my pain was so severe. My friend Sarah sent me a message. She knew I was hurting. It said,”I was praying for you and it felt to me like grief is causing your pain. Like you are internalizing your pain. I think it could be possible that your physical pain actually represents your emotional pain. I think God wants to help you let it go.” Lightbulb…lit.
Today I went to get a massage that I knew was probably going to be quite uncomfortable as multiple health care professionals have told me how tight my muscles are. As he went through he explained how when we have physical and emotional trauma, our myofascia actually hardens around our muscles and that for the pain to subside it needs to become pliable again. I had paid for 90 minutes but he worked for almost 2 hours. There were a lot of uncomfortable moments where I had to just breathe and as I did I started naming off each person that I cared about that is no longer with us. I asked God to take my burden because I couldn’t handle it anymore. I am achey and sore with some definite bruising but I know He is working on my heart and I am in much less pain than I have been. I know that my body is going to want to just go back to the way it’s been holding everything and I’ll have to work on that too. I know that the people I love would not want me living in sadness and holding onto my grief. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss them or think about them…but when I do feel that sadness I cannot keep it. With a lot of praying and stretching, I think I’ll be ok.