I’ve just passed through an upsurge of grief (though it was really more of a downsurge — I’ve been in a funk the past few weeks). I hadn’t realized I was experiencing an episode of grief — it just felt as if it were sorrow as usual — until this morning when I noticed the grief had seeped away leaving behind a strange feeling of optimism. (Strange because there is no reason for it — nothing has changed, no issues have been resolved, and a blank future still lies ahead of me.)
Why that particular upsurge? I’m not really sure — grief needs no reason. I have a hunch, though, it had to do with the odd anniversaries of grief I’d just passed through. First there was the anniversary of the worst day of my life, then there was the anniversary of leaving our home. I’d barely noticed these days during my second and third years of grief, so I never expected to even remember them this far into my journey, but apparently my body did. (It remembers even when I don’t.)
Or perhaps the grief upsurge could have been instigated by the recent loss of a couple of friends. (Lost not to death but to differences of lifestyle and opinion.) Any loss seems to bring on an upsurge of sorrow, reminding me of that most grievous loss — the death of my life mate/soul mate.
Or maybe I’m just making a big thing out of no thing. Maybe I’m blaming the normal vicissitudes of my life on grief, when in fact this is the new me, though I hope not. I hate to think that I’ll always be so emotionally frail, given to tears over the least little upset. At least with grief, there is always the possibility of someday being able to reclaim my equilibrium and once again take life as it comes.
Though come to think of it — are tears really so bad? They relieve stress and help wash away the hormones that build up because of that stress. (Remember Holly Hunter in Broadcast News? Peppy little thing, always on the go, always thinking, always two steps ahead of everyone, then when she’s alone, she breaks into tears for a few minutes. I never understood that part of her character . . . until now.)
Maybe I should worry more if the tears dry up forever.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.