Wrenching Grief

Tears have filled the well of my heart and spilled over.

I’ve been trying to be upbeat and funny in my blogs over the years. Though my Your Book, Your Business series gets down and rough some of the time, I want people to look at and find the positive side of writing amidst the negative that’s all too easy to see and hear.  Today is different.

Today, I’m grieving.

Perhaps, if this wasn’t an assignment, I’d not write this. I may have, though. I know as well as anyone how writing is cathartic. However, it’s been seven years. Seven. An emotional seven years full of trench deep lows and Oort Belt highs. An intense seven years have passed as of Monday, April 25, since a freak accident took my twenty five year old brother. He was the glue that held me to my adopted family, the one I could be open with, who accepted me as I was. He made a point of seeing me before leaving on that fateful move to Georgia, even though I lived like four hours out of his way.

Our children, my youngest, his oldest (and turns out only) child were born a mere three weeks apart, his a beautiful girl, mine a beautiful boy. His wife and child put the most tender look on his face that I’d ever seen on him. They were his whole world, and he was taking them on an adventure to better their lives.

Those precious moments meant more to me than he could possibly fully comprehend. When you’re left out and left behind, when assumptions are made that are impossible to know where to begin to defend because they’d been made for years without your knowing, most not based in truth, or with a twisted version impossible to unravel, you begin to expect the worst. Your heart becomes like an Arthurian stone holding on to the sword, never letting loose.

But he always took his own path; he loved and laughed on his terms. Grief, after years of being manageable, has struck like a mac track hitting a wall, leaving bricks and mortar of your soul scattered across the black floor, shards to trip you up and make you bleed.

Dark, harsh, relentless grief has no time limit. It will wilt your insides, churn them up like butter then spit them out in a configuration of salty wetness or verbal bile. Burning like blue fire, hot and cold, it tears you apart; the inferno either swallows you into vast nothingness, no longer having even mass, or it forges you.

I’m not a stranger to pain, to grief. From child hood abusers, project kids who bit and kicked and worse to being an adult ho finally understands the stigma associated with those abuses, and a spouse who beats you, therein lies pain.

Having a son go into respiratory arrest multiple times will tear you into shreds of panic, flaying your heart and throwing the pieces into your throat so that even air causes pain. That scary moment, while driving, you have to reach back, grab a handful of his shirt with the carseat straps, and essentially punch your son in the chest because he’s quit breathing and you have no one to help. Your one friend isn’t around, and your other is waiting for your other child as you frantically drive from a dinky town to a small one with a small hospital. That moment will NEVER leave your mind, haunting you as if it were yesterday at the oddest moment.

I’m used to going at it alone. So used to it, that I forget–or chose not–to cry for help. My heart turned into icicles during that time of my life, and I learned to keep things compartmentalized, and it took a lot to let people in. God help them if they betray me. It all bottled up over time, and I became a crier. I haven’t lost that part, but I am learning to not bottle it all up.

When my daughter had brain surgery, I learned the benefits of social media. My FB family proved I’d grown, opened up, if only to crack open the door, and social media became a more ritualistic outlet for me.

So today, I’m blogging this.

I’m using what I learned before to help me now as grief clutches my heart with razor sharp claws to pierce me with the shadows of sorrow. I’ll write until the sun breaks through and gives new life to reverberate within my soul, like crocuses breaking through the hard wintery ground.

I will do more than survive. I will become. Become someone I love more, someone who can lead others to the light, to see that grief isn’t an end, to help them learn to reach out and love so that they too can become.

Today, I will kiss my son and laugh with all my children, enjoying my blessings and thankful for the love shown me by my kid brother and pass it on.