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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grief Reactivated - Again


What is it about this thing called reactivated grief?  My stepson's mother-in-law died yesterday morning - on the 6th anniversary of her daughter’s death from breast cancer.  Such a cruel irony, that.

When I learned of her passing, I went numb for a while.  Then it happened.  Anxiety sneaked up on me and wracked me with unease, and I felt as though Clint had died yesterday, too.  Tears gathered behind my eyelids and spilled out all over the place, and soon I was sobbing, heaving with pain and loss.  Again.  I’m still reeling from the death of Loren’s father two weeks ago.

Ann Carol, my therapist said that reactivated grief would be part of my life for a long while, but she said it would get easier over time.  Not yet, at least not yet for me.

Jesus.  I want my husband.  These are the times I need him the most, the times that my heart cracks anew and I need his comforting way, his pure and reassuring love.  Just how many ways can one heart break, how many times will it pump poison throughout my entire body and cause me physical discomfort?  Yes, the pain is physical.  Every muscle in my body is in a state of rebellion, so much so that I have turned on my heated mattress pad and climbed into bed to take advantage of its soothing warmth.  

My gut is wrenching, but earlier I gathered myself together enough to go by to spend some time with my step-granddaughters, offer support for these young women - 21 and 13 - who, like me, have suffered such grave loss at a young age.  Kristy came by and drove me over, and I took them some of my famous cheese straws.  But when we arrived, the girls had gone to the pool at the club.  Crestfallen, I managed for a little while to interact with the adults who were milling around aimlessly, some chewing on chicken, others cutting into a ham or dishing up barbecue or munching finger sandwiches.

The kitchen counters were covered with food, and two refrigerators were bulging with more.  That’s what we do here in The Deep South.  We hide our grief behind food.  We think eating will fix just about any hurt, so on our way home, Kristy and I stopped at the store for me to buy some more cheese.  Now I have some cooking to hide behind.  I’m just as fucking crazy as the rest of them.  

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