Stop in the Name of Grief

red and white stop road signage
Photo by Wendelin Jacober on

I had a bad Sunday night. Yesterday, the bad continued to pound down on me. I was in grief mode and the only thing I knew to do to get out of it was a day of feeling my feels. The day did lead me down a path of self-pity, but I took it because sometimes, the only way to get out is to take the hardest road. And I did. I stayed in my PJs, canceled on a Christmas Party – I couldn’t do it…I just couldn’t – and plunged into the start of my author website creation. By four-thirty, I knew I should get out of my PJs, eat something and for goodness sake, shower. I did…an hour later…and I was good again.

Yesterday, I woke up in grief, deep grief. It started Sunday night with the thought of the dreaded holidays. One song can push me back into the pit of grief. Then, I awoke on the 23rd week without Peter. That compounded it. But instead of fighting with Grief, I succumbed to it. I rolled over and said, “okay, uncle”. It was like Grief threw up a stop sign, and I obeyed.

For the most part, I haven’t stopped these past twenty-three weeks. I haven’t stopped moving. I haven’t given up. I haven’t stayed in bed balled up in anguish. I haven’t let myself go. I haven’t stopped reading, writing, expressing myself. I haven’t wanted anyone to take care of me. Okay, the last one, I have, but I moved on despite no one doing stepping in. Maybe I showed strength, or maybe it was just the momentum of my life that propelled me forward. Whatever the reason, I have moved…on most days. There have been standing still days, but not for too long. Sunday night was one of them. Sunday night, Grief hit me and struck me down. Sunday night, I had nothing left in me to move. So, I went down and stay there, like a boxer not wanting to get up again for another blow.

In the morning, I stayed in my pajamas and let the television suck me in. It didn’t feel great, but it didn’t feel bad. There was certain powerlessness I succumbed to and I gave myself permission.  A few hours after I awoke, I texted to tell friends I wasn’t going to the Christmas party after all. I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t do the forty-plus minute drive back to my house. I couldn’t sit in my puddle of grief while trying to look okay. I couldn’t bring myself or my grief into a party because that wouldn’t be fair to the festivities, to them. Sure, there was some guilt even with total honesty. I mean, I do love these friends. I don’t want to hurt them. Maybe I give myself too much credit for their feelings. In the end, I chose self-love and did what I thought was best at the moment.

I did turn off the television and started to move again. Maybe more of a crawl. I contacted two grief groups. I figure maybe my grief deserved company and three different people in two days asked me if I was in one. There is too long of a story as to the reasons why I haven’t done this earlier,  reasons now I am over or no longer makes sense to me. I do think it all came down to readiness. And then I plunged myself in giving my author page web design another shot.

By five-thirty, an hour after I thought I was going to stop until the web designed dragged me back in, pajamas were still on, the shower still not taken. I finally decided now is the time. I took my shower, put on clean clothes and ate my dinner. I felt better, still, a little stung by the blow Grief landed, but better. By the time I went to bed, I felt okay. This morning, I feel okay. It seems relaxing in Grief’s grip helped me.

Arthur Ash once said, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can“. I’m not sure if he was talking about grief, but boy he described it well. I did what I needed to do. I started off feeling bad, I succumbed because that is all I had left in me and I did what I felt was right for me. It helped me get through the day. It helped me feel my feels. It helped me move on.

I can’t always be Superwoman…or Momentum Woman – a great name for a DC character – or whomever others perceive me to me. All I can be is me. And sometimes, it’s okay for me to stop moving and rollover. It’s okay because when I’m down there, I think of ways to help pull me back up again. It gives me pause in my movement. When I move all the time, I don’t always allow myself to feel, to come up with solutions, to do the things I might have to do in order to get through another day. And since Peter died, that’s all I hope to do…move through another day.  Move until I get to the point where I can actually live. And that will come.  Even when I’m on the ground, I feel it coming. When I rise again, like this morning, I know it is there. Perhaps in the far distance, but I see it and I will get there. My momentum powers will take me there.