July 23, 2014
When you lose a loved one, you expect to feel sad and lost and out of sorts. When you lose a loved one, you expect the grief. What you don’t expect, is to ever feel better. I lost someone I love just over a year ago and silly me, I thought I was beginning to feel better. The awful truth is, I’m still feeling my way around.
Today started out very pleasant, my classes were full and my students were receptive. I was teaching a writing lesson today and I enjoy teaching students how to write. The first essay of the year is always a personal narrative. Students get to tell a story from their life and I get to know them a little better. It also gives the students a chance to know me little bit better because I write a story from my life, as well.
“The best personal narratives are filled with emotion,” I explain to my students. “Think about a time when you experienced great emotion. Think about a time you were very happy, or very sad, or very excited.”
I had given those directions four times before the end of the day. And after I gave the directions, I began to give examples from my own life. For the something that made me very happy, I told the students how I felt when I graduated from college. It even now makes me smile with pride and happiness. For the something sad I told them how sad I was when my daughter died. It took 27 years, but talking about Jessica’s death does not bring the sadness and grief that it once did.
Finally, for the very excited, I chose to tell my students about when I taught in the Middle East. It was one of the most exciting times of my life and it was still fresh in my mind, having just gotten back one year ago last month. I told my story with all of the excitement I could remember. And I could remember a lot, because it was so fresh in my memory.
However, what was also still fresh in my memory, was the loss of my love, ESS. I won’t go into defining our relationship, just suffice it to say that I loved him (still do), and he loved me. It has been a year since I lost him and I was just getting to the point where I could speak his name without tearing up. I was just getting to the point where I could talk about him with joy instead of sorrow. I was just getting to the point…and then it all came flooding back.
My first three classes went rather smoothly. By the time my last period students settled in their seats, I had no sad thoughts in my head at all. Then my students began asking questions about the who, the what, the where, the when, the why, and the how of my stay in Abu Dhabi. And I was only too happy to answer them. And then it happened.
His face flashed into my mind; a quick glance, and then gone. I kept talking. Then his face came into my mind and stayed a little bit longer. I kept talking. Then his face came into my mind and wouldn’t go away. I was forced to confront my memories. They overwhelmed me and it all came flooding back. The bell rang, I dismissed my last class and I fell apart at my desk. I was right back where I had started.
Here is an excerpt from my post on October 13, 2013, “Be Still…Listen”
“Every time I inhale, there is a whirlpool of hurt swirling around in the core of my being. Simultaneously, my eyes bleed tears that don’t stop until they drop into my lap. My body aches from the convulsive sobs that fall from my lips. My throat is scratchy and red from the lack of moisture my crying seems to have taken away from me. My lips are parched as well.
My arms have gone numb from my wrapping them around myself in a vain attempt to soothe and comfort this sad woman who is me.
My sickness is sorrow and it unnerves people. Even as the tears run silently down my face, everyone averts their eyes, as if somehow, if they ignore me, my pain will go away.
And there is no relief. There is no relief and there is no comfort.
When the tears finally subside, I am out of breath. My breathing is ragged and shallow. My eyes are swollen and now dry. Soon, my eyes will softly shut, my breathing will slow and become even. My shoulders will only sometimes, shudder involuntarily and I will sleep, not restfully, not peacefully, but thankfully, sleep. And still, there will be no relief.”
This is me all over again, dear Readers. I am right back where I never wanted to be. I am right back in the middle of my grief, and it sucks! But I have faith, dear Readers. I have faith and I have hope that I will feel better, eventually. For now, I find the smallest relief in knowing that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rev 21:4.
I truly hope so, dear Readers, I truly do. Because right now, I’m still feeling my way around. Peace, ~v.