The other day, I posted on Facebook an image explaining the world doesn’t stop for my grief. And it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t. Especially in this time of a pandemic, my grief should not matter. And I hope it doesn’t to anyone, but me.
There are a few good people in my life who have still supported me, perhaps realizing the reason for my grief, the death of Peter and my mom, has added an extra layer of loneliness and foreboding during this time where we are all lonely and foreboding. We are all, collective all, like whole world all, staring down a virus so strong, it threatens us all. I understand the terror of this virus. I know we are all in this together. I know we are all scared, longing to hug again, go out for lunch, see a movie and rid ourselves of our required wardrobe change, the mask. We are all seeking some type of return to our normalcy. And I know all of this, and feel all of this, yet I still carry my grief.
Grief in general is a selfish beast, and I have been caught in its claws. I don’t want to be. I would love to wave some magic wand over me and say “be gone”. But I can’t, and I still am being ripped by Grief’s talons. The tears I have in my eyes, the tears there from the loss of significant people, makes it too difficult to see others sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes.
This pandemic has given us all time of reflection. It has slowed us down, made us all turn inward, perhaps examine our lives. The silence has made our thoughts louder. And this means my thoughts have been more on my loneliness now more so because of Peter’s death, and, somewhat, my mother’s death. I sit in a house all day, surrounded in memories of him, of us, of what was. Any room I walk into, anything I see, serves as a reminder of Peter. And while my memories of Peter are starting to bring on smiles, finally, they also serve as what is missing in me, in my life. Because, hell, I loved him. I want him, especially in this alone time.
Now, I could escape to Discovery. I could run away to my apartment, run the risk of getting sick there, or quarantined. Don’t think I haven’t thought about it many of time. Yet I stay put. My son is here, near me in my ‘burban home and he has brought me groceries and made me dinner. He has heard my ramblings. He is here and I am here for him. There is a comfort in knowing I have him and the neighbors I love, some for over 20 years, who I know I can be there for them and they for me if needed. Plus, to be honest, Discovery may not hold all the memories, yet there would still be a sense of missing Peter and my mom. Getting away is not an answer as long as the distractions are few and harder in the imprisonment of this pandemic.
And so today’s blog is a mixed bag of feelings. I feel this blog, especially during these times, may be seen as an egotistical slant regarding my grief. I feel I should ‘get over it’ or ‘move on’ because we are all looking down the same barrel of the pandemic gun which can be pulled at any time and blow any of us, any of our loved one, away. I feel people are struggling and my grief means nothing anymore, or perhaps less, or perhaps needs to be shut down, not talked about. I feel I should shout at my grief, at myself, “shut up already because this pandemic is bigger than you and your grief“. And it is. And I can’t.
This pandemic stagnated me and my grief. I am still on a road to healing. I cry less tears, experience more laughter, and some days, I even feel less of a need to share on this blog. I am getting used to living, as Cindi McCain said, “with my broken heart”. Then there are these days, these moments, when I see a picture of Peter, have an anniversary of his death, hear a song, or feel our memories in the house we loved, and I am slapped backed down in grief without an outlet other than an activity by myself which serves as a lonely reminder of his absence. And I f-word hate those days and moments, more than anyone else. I wish them gone, but wishes don’t always come true, do they?
I know, we are in this pandemic together. Some are working on the frontline of it, battling inside the war zone. Some are stocking grocery shelves, cashiering and trying to do their part for essential businesses. Some are teaching in a new way. Some are learning a new way. All of us are carrying around our own burdens of varying degrees. All of us know who has it worse or better or different than us and appreciate what we have. All of us know the heroes in all of this and appreciative of what they give. All of us are in this together as the world goes on. And I go on in it, for better or worse, with my grief. Damn it.