The problem with grief (not counting the primary problem of having lost a loved one) is that so many emotions attack you all at once that you feel you can never get a grip. And then, for no fathomable reason, you hit an emotional trough where you feel nothing, and you begin to think that you can handle your grief, and then pow! Out of nowhere, it returns and slams you in the gut.
I was never a wildly emotional person, but now I am buffeted by more different emotions in a single day than I used to experience in a month. The emotions are not all negative, either. This morning, I woke up feeling a tingle of excitement — I’d planned to go on a long ramble, camera in hand, and for the first time in months, perhaps years, I felt alive. I’ve always taken long walks, but for the past couple of decades I’ve lived on a .3 mile lane between a dead end and a busy highway, so I used to walk up and down the lane, always looking for anything different to make the trek interesting. Now, I don’t have to look for those differences — I have a brand new world beneath my feet, before my eyes, and something in me is responding.
But still, side-by-side with my new awakening, is the sorrow that my mate is no longer with me. About fifteen minutes before I returned from my walk today, the thought that he was not waiting for me at the end doubled me over with pain. After such a bout, when the immediacy of the pain passes, when the tears finally dissipate, I’m left with the inexplicable feeling that he is away, perhaps getting well, and one of these days he will be calling, telling me I can come home. But he won’t be calling. And I won’t be going home.
And so I continue walking the long and winding road of grief.