Grief is a sneaky bitch. Just when you think you can relax and take a breath it comes out of no where and taps you on the shoulder reminding you that you can't escape. It leaves you wondering if it will ever release it's grip on you.
It hides in the most obscure and obvious places such as; your social media memories to remind you of what you had and what you lost. In the holiday decorations that marked happier times full of family. When sending your child back to college as you return alone to an empty house. In the bathroom cabinet where a forgotten bottle of cologne was left behind - the smell and the memories that evokes. These are just a few of the many places grief hides, waiting to jump out and grab me in big and small ways.
For some reason there is a universal thought that one-year marks the time when grief should subside. This is the time that others are looking at us to get ourselves together and move forward putting our grief on the back burner. We should fully be re-engaging with life. But that isn't the case at all. One year is nothing more than the passing of time, it means nothing to a grieving heart, mind and soul.
These people don't realize that grief is a sneaky bitch...just waiting for us to put our guard down so it can swoop in and punch us in the soul again and take our breath away. It can leave us reeling at the most random times, but we learn to hide it from others because our grief makes them uncomfortable and their uncomfortableness makes us uncomfortable and it triggers shame. We should be doing this better. We should be stronger. We should be over this. So we learn to grieve in silence. We cry in the shower when no one can hear us...even if there is no one there to hear us anyway. We cry in the car so we can be alone with our grief. We even hide our grief from ourselves.
What I have realized through my grief journey is that sometimes my grief is so personal and intimate that it becomes a protective cloak. A warm soft familiar blanket that I wrap around myself and snuggle into. It is mine alone to understand or not understand. Most importantly, I have realized that my grief is the price I pay for loving someone so fully. The reward in knowing Paul was so great and the price of losing him is even greater.
Right now I am not sure I want to let go of my grief because I don't ever want to let go of him and what we shared. I am learning to make peace with my grief. I am learning to accept grief as it comes and as it is. I know that on my good days when I feel like my old self that grief is a sneaky bitch and at any time it can jump out from behind the curtain it is temporarily hiding behind and grab me hard. But now, 5 years into this journey it doesn't derail me for long and instead reminds me of the great love I shared with another person. A love that shaped me into who I am today, which is a person I am learning to love and be proud of.
Even though grief is a sneaky bitch, it is responsible for who I am becoming. It has shown me I am resilient, that I am love and that I am loved. I don't fear grief anymore. I don't resist when it comes out from behind the curtain but instead I lean into it. I cry when I need to and spend as much time with my grief waiting patiently for it to pass in it's own time. I don't like it when grief sneaks up on me but I have learned to accept this as a part of my healing. I am a work in progress.