The Ball of Grief
Everyone grieves. We experience loss in many forms and we each grieve differently for the loss. No value is attached to the severity of it; there is no code of conduct to follow; nor is there is a schedule to adhere to. Grieving is personal.
Here’s my view of the process …
One thing is certain … death is capital F-Final. I also know that grief has now both permanently and securely affixed itself to me. I know it will never leave. It will change, but it will forever be a part of me.
Since I entered the realm of grieving for the loss of my husband I have thought about the process daily. One image has continually presented itself in my pictorially-wired brain. My grief is a ball. A big bouncy yellow ball. And I know it is now attached to me. Everyone can see it. I cannot. But I feel it.
Mostly I trudge along according to my new directive “Sempre Avanti” (always forward). As I move I don’t realize I’m more stooped than I’ve ever been. The weight is heavy and I feel it and can only hope it doesn’t wear me down. But I do get used to it. Sometimes I forget about it and wonder why I feel the way I do. Others sense it though. They see it in my eyes, hear it in my tone and feel it with the hugs that last just a little bit longer. They see the yellow ball I drag behind me. I know they wish they can help me with it.
Sometimes when I think about my loss I’m angry. It shows in my venting, uttering my favourite string of curse-atives or in the private yet audible altercations with Joe himself (I always have the last word and it can be satisfying). Although it temporarily feels good to let it out, I’m really just fooling myself. When I try to kick the hell out of that ball, it’s so firmly attached to me that the force of its return is even stronger.
And at times there’s sadness and sadness is too heavy to drag and too massive to kick. Then I pick it up and carry it. But when I do, it’s so enormous, it’s all I see. It obscures my vision and narrows my perspective. I’m inundated with thoughts of sorrow (for myself and my family) and I woefully wonder “why me?” I feel the void in every way. Thankfully when I dwell too long in this position, my little voice whispers with love “Honey, please put the ball down. This is not helping you.” And when I do, I do see more clearly.
Fortunately I have always listened to that loving voice and because of it, I have been encouraged to to find comfort with that ball. So I’m doing my best to learn how to manage it and lessen the times I lose my balance and fall off. It provides a cushion for the difficult waves that appear out of nowhere. It offers a new sense of comfort and I’m confident it will keep me buoyant as I move forward in the grieving process.
It is now a part of me and as I continue to embrace life, I too will embrace the yellow ball of grief.