Taking More Steps

footprint on sand
Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns on Pexels.com

Since Peter died, I have been open about seeking counseling. I think it was the number one thing that helped me move, especially when I found my grief counselor. And every week, I talked and talked and cried and cried, about all of the heartaches, the emptiness, the confusion, the frustration, the exhaustion, the loneliness, the…well, the list goes on.  I poured my soul out about all of this and more. Yesterday was different. Yesterday with my grief counselor, I didn’t have as much to say. Yesterday was the first session where I actually sat with all of my grief as if it was now part of me, my story. A horrible story, sure, yet one I cannot rewrite or close the book on. There was an embracing of my grief, and all that means, instead of fighting with it, trying to get rid of it, and wishing it away.

The emotions evoked because of Peter’s death are part of grieving. There really isn’t a cure for grieving. I can talk through it, but it doesn’t make it go away.  I can try to deny it, pushing it out of mind, yet it still taps me on the shoulder like a toddler in a look-at-me, look-at-me sort of way. I can hate it, and I have, and I still do, but I am also starting to look at Grief as part of me and hating it only brings hate into me. And I can push back when Grief pushes me, although I learned if I fall down and bring Grief down with me, we move better together.

The other night, I sat and thought about Peter. As I concentrated on the physical him, in my mind’s eye, I saw his lips thin with a crooked grin above his prominent Dudak chin.   I saw the eyebrows above his green eyes lift as it often did in his shy habit when I looked at him too long. I saw his Levi’s jean he held always held up with a belt hanging off his slender body.  And I saw the concentration on his face when the wheels of his crazy, brilliant mind turned. I saw all of him, and my stomach lurched, and I cried Yet during my intense moments of missing the physical being of Peter, I also had an intense love for him. Grief was there – Grief is always there – throwing memories at me like knives. Yet this time, the knives were a bit duller as I remembered the positives.

Anyone who knows me knows, I have always loved Peter, intensely. And after he died, I couldn’t allow myself to feel his love, our love, thoroughly. When visions of him and what he meant in my life came, I would allow them to flash in my heart, then bat them away. Or I would crumble under them. So, I wouldn’t always allow them near my heart and tackled them before they reached because the pain of it would be too much, too hard, too intense. I pushed them back, ignored them completely, and moved without the thought of his love, our love. It was a survival skill. It was my survival skill.

The other night, though, it was different. The other night, I actually allowed him, all of him,  in. I took some moments to see him, to feel him, to feel us. The deep love entered seeped into me and it felt sad and it felt good.  While I knew I would never have the physical Peter anymore, I felt what has always been all these years – my passionately, deep love for Peter, for us. And I sat with both and cried.  Full disclosure, I tried it again last night, and well, as they entered my soul, I held them for a few beats, and then pushed them out. I wasn’t in a crying mood. I am sure there will be this constant battle with my visions and feelings of Peter, especially during this Holiday season. I will do what I have to do and feel at the time, in my nows.  Yet to even have this struggle is new to me.

I have taken some steps in my journey lately. I know I have pushed my way through this life without Peter since the nightmare began. Recently though, I am moving reflectively and sometimes, I surprise myself. I am most surprised by how far I’ve come in these past five and half months. I’ve been told I have moved quickly. And it wasn’t in a good-for-you type of way, rather with judgment and advice to slow down.  I’m not sure I could if I wanted to because my momentum keeps me going.

I walked out of the counselor’s office with an appointment set for three weeks from now and an agreement if I should need her sooner, I would call. I know in these next three weeks Grief is going to knock me on my ass a few times. I know I will have a day or five of crawling up in a ball in pain, both figuratively and emotionally. I know I’ll be exhausted and frustrated and angered by doing this solo act. Heck, I’m still angry at God, big time. And I know, I have a long, LOOOONG way to go before I can live, as Cindy McCain said, with a broken heart. Yet, I feel I am taking steps toward somewhere. Even if it’s to a memory of Peter and our love, I’m going somewhere.