I knew I needed to be nice to myself this weekend. After work, I really did buy myself tulips, another bottle of wine (still unopened in the fridge) and among my other groceries were dark chocolate pomegranates. Flowers, wine and chocolate. It didn't hit me until later that this looked like the set up for a big date night, and I had to wonder if I was being stupidly cruel or cruelly stupid instead.
My big date has been being unable to quit replaying the images of this afternoon last year in my head, regardless of how I try to shove them out. I'm tired of writing about this. Beyond that, I'm tired of feeling this.
During the shock of that day, I remember telling myself that I was still alive, and I was going to keep on living, and I needed to strive towards life. I think I might have pushed myself to move forward too fast. I've wondered if I might be better now if I'd just really let myself go with full abandon at some point. As intense as things have been sometimes, the idea of having relinquished all self control for grief to take me is still scary. I don't know. There is no right way to mourn, and I'm sure deep in my gut that the process is as individual as the experience is universal.
It's been a full year. According to very old fashioned etiquette, the proscribed period for mourning is over. Knowing how I feel, I wonder if a set time period was put in place, not to restrain survivors into paying proper respect to their lost loved ones, but to say to the truly bereaved that regardless of how you feel, you have to move on. It's for your own good.
Today's pain is sharp, as sharp as it was last year, but I know that there have been good days as well. Not a single day has passed without me thinking of R., of how we lived and loved, of what my daughter and I have lost. I suppose the time will come when that will happen. Eventually, I might even be surprised when a thought of the life we had comes to me. I've reached the second phase with the loss of my parents, 7 and 5 years ago respectively, but not the third.
As hard as it is, today, I'm just trying to let myself feel whatever it is I feel. I might not have had the migraine if I hadn't been trying not to go too deeply into this. (Yes, I really have been trying, but this is deeper than I ever knew.) Yet again, I'm telling myself to breathe. Today, it's really all I have to do.