This is the physical manifestation (magnification?) of what profound grief feels like in my body.
- The grief comes in waves. It feels like I’m caught in an ocean surf, crashing over me at intervals that I can not anticipate. It comes a lot… CRASH… over my body. I’m okay… CRASH… I’m okay… CRASH… I can’t know when it will hit me. I feel a literal sway in my body when it happens. It runs the length of me, hitting my chest first. Then my knees and elbows. Then my head and ankles. It is a crash. And, much like the surf, it recedes quickly. It goes back to whence it came, that place that it will come from again. It crashes into me.
- My heart is literally heavy. I feel a weight on the left side of my chest. It’s like weights were implanted into my heart. I can feel my heart, not in an achy sort of way, but with heft that wasn’t there before.
- My brain feels squishy. Except when it feels foggy. I’m not “on” like I was before. I used to be fast at work. I had answers, responded quickly. Now, I’m slower to react. Things take longer for me to process. Even normal things, things that are a part of life that should be automatic, are now trapped in the squish. It’s not unlike trying to walk through a deep muck in boots that get trapped by the vacuum. I’ll get to where I need to be, but it takes a lot more effort.
- My knees and elbows hurt. My knees and elbows have always ached. Since I was in middle school, they’ve always had a dull ache in my life. I just ignore it because it doesn’t go away. But now, they ache more loudly. If my achy knees and elbows were at a level 2 ache before, it’s turned up to a level 3. It’s noticeable.
- My eyes hurt. I’m always on the edge of tears. My eyes hurt from holding back. My occupation is not *crying*. I can’t pay my bills with tears, I can’t function with tears. So I hold back and my eyes hurt. Especially at the end of the day.
- My throat is almost always constricted. It goes along with the eye thing in that I’m constantly holding back tears. My throat is tight. When I get the CRASH, I get a lump in my throat. When the wave clears, my throat goes back to constricted.
- I’m hungry. I’m ravenous. I want to eat.
- I’m tired. I’m so, so tired. I want a nap. I want to sleep in. I want to go to bed early. I want to hide and it makes me tired.
- I’m scared. I don’t like going places right now because I’m afraid that I’ll break down and I won’t be home. I’ll go here or there for a couple of hours, but the thought of going anywhere for the weekend is so overwhelming. (up north is the same as home… I’ll go there as fast as the speed limits allow).
- I don’t want to talk to people. I’m taking my people back in tiny groups. It’s overwhelming to think about having to get over the initial surge of “How are you doing?”. I don’t want to answer and I’m not necessarily in love with all of the sympathy.
- I don’t want your expression of sympathy. I hate the awkwardness. But if you don’t give it to me, I’ll be pissed that you didn’t acknowledge my loss. It’s a no-win situation. If you don’t, I’ll be mad. If you do, I’ll be uncomfortable. That’s one of the reasons I don’t want to talk to people. Nobody is okay with this exchange.
- I like talking about other things. I hate talking about other things. It was the same thing that happened when Joe was sick. If we talked about cancer I was mad because other things were happening. But if we did not talk about cancer I was mad because cancer needed to be talked about. It’s the same thing all over again.
There are other nuance, but that’s what it is on the whole.
It’s really shitty. 0 stars. Would not recommend.