I know self-care is important for our well-being but having said that I am not good at it. Self-care means sitting with my grief which I avoid. My complicated grief and trauma are easier to manage when I work as many hours that I can physically fit in. If I am busy and not alone with my thoughts I don’t have to face the pain of the harsh and isolating reality of living without Josh.
I walk, talk and smile like I am living life but there is a constant pain in my heart, and doing me also compounds my guilt. How can you smile, laugh, and engage in small talk when Josh is not living his life? Why are you basking in nature when Josh can’t smell the summer breeze? But today felt a little different as I have just finished reading a book called Bearing the Unbearable by @grief_doctor. I have been dipping in and out of it while taking my time to ‘feel’ the words shared so compassionately and gently by the author’s own lived experience of child bereavement. I also felt less alone while reading it as some of the experiences shared by other parents were by those who are also bereaved by homicide.
As I got to the last chapter the content was so poignant I felt compelled to express my gratitude to the author for giving me a gift which helped me to bring my grief closer. Through her words and lived experience along with the many other experiences shared in her beautiful book, I stepped into today with a little less guilt in my heart.
It has been a while since I have gone for a five-hour walk while just bathing in nature. And comfortingly I know that Josh was with me as he shone his love and light while sending me the most amazing signs. While sharing some of what I had read in the book over lunch with my dear friend Lorraine a Robin bobbed about right in front of us. As hard as I have tried to feed a robin over the years I have never been successful, that is until today. As I lay down my offerings it tentatively and trustingly crept towards me filling its beak .
Grief can be painful, messy, all-consuming, exhausting and scary and the harder my love the harder it hurts but today I stepped closer to my grief and I am ok