Grief feels like fear

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the
sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same
restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a
sort of invisible blanket between the world and me... I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me . . .
An odd by-product of my loss is that I’m afraid of being an
embarrassment to everyone I meet. At work, at the club, in the street, I see
people, as they approach me, trying to make up their minds whether they’ll
‘say something about it’ or not. I hate it if they do, and if they don’t . . .
C. S. Lewis, from A Grief Observed

I woke up this morning terrified.  I haven’t woken like this in months.  As I struggled  out of my sleep fog, I tried to pinpoint what’s wrong with me, why I’m so afraid,  and of course, it comes flooding back to me.  Jack’s gone.  Dead.  My child isn’t in the next room.  He isn’t sleeping at a friend’s house.  I’m not waiting for him to text me that he’s on his way to school or home or that the car won’t start and he needs a rescue ride. No need to plan how we’re going to replace his car or fund his last 2 years in college.  No more angry words over pot smoking or partying like a wild man.  No need.  No. Need.

I curse the two people who I’ve run across in the past week, who didn’t know that Jack died.  “How’s that crazy kid of yours doing?” (“Fine,” I mumble)  “What’s he doing?  Remember when he brought you that box of chocolate the day after Valentine’s?  It had melted in his car and he gift wrapped a spoon with the candy. Man, that kid is such a nut!”  With one I pretend that I am late for a meeting and make a quick exit.  I ended up telling the other person the truth, that I lied to avoid having to go into details.

It startles me that the pain is so intense today.   3 years, 1 month, 2 weeks and 2 days after Jack’s death.  On my shoulders like a sack of concrete, the grief weighs down my body, my spirit.  I have so much to do today and want so much to just lie here on the couch. For me, that isn’t a good idea.  Too easy for me to hide, turn turtle-like into a shell where I feel safer than waking into a world where my child doesn’t live.

I have to talk myself through the next few steps until I am in the car on the way to work.  Put away the laptop.  Fix my hair.  Put on some makeup.  Make sure I locked the front door.  And keep breathing.

About texasgaga

I am a mom, a grandmom (Gaga to my 2nd oldest grand-child), a sister, a friend, a construction estimator, a homeowner, an active member of a 12 step recovery group, an artist, a reader, a survivor, a do it yourself wannabe, a laugher
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5 Responses to Grief feels like fear

  1. Tommy will be gone 2 years on May 29th this year… I feel your pain with my very soul… you are so right… grief feels like fear … and…. I experience the same thing when I think I’m going to be alright.
    Granny Gee/Gloria

    • texasgaga says:

      Thanks, Gloria. I loved seeing the pictures you shared of Tommy and the family. Bless you for sharing your experience, strength, and hope!
      Margaret Russo

      • I sit here with tears in my eyes… your comment made me feel honored, honored that you have looked at Tommy’s photos. I know your pain, yet… I know it’s different… our sons were different people. I know your pain from one mother’s heart to another mother’s heart. I know how a mother ‘cries inside forever for her child’… even though she is laughing, talking, being around other people… they can’t ‘see’ it happening.. right in front of their eyes. I can feel deeply you know how I hurt inside, I can feel how you hurt also, ‘inside’… we walk on a similiar path now.. for the rest of our lives. It’s up to us to make it a good and positive path… no matter what. I work so hard at this, Margaret… it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done… the reason I do that is because I’m all Skip and our Pups have in this world… they are all I have in this world. When Tommy left, we found out how it feels to not have ‘real’ family left… everybody is gone in one way or the other. We now know how it feels to be older and alone… thankfully, we are ‘older, stronger’ people. I’m glad to see your reply… you can see that it meant the world to me. Gloria/aka Granny Gee

  2. SR says:

    There is nothing to add to this other than, my heart and prayers are with you. God Bless, SR

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