People said it would happen. Priest, counselors, friends. They said "In time, the old you will come back." And at 16 months out, I can say that I am starting to feel like the old me. The biggest thing I have noticed is that I can get things done with little to no effort. I can go grocery shopping and not think twice, I can multi task, I can have the whole house cleaned and dinner on the table without feeling drained. I can shower each day.I can see babies Caleb's age and not want to run the other direction. And I have to say, it feels great. I can tell that my grief is slowly moving from right in front of my eyes to more of my side vision. My days are filled with more happiness than sadness. Less tears and more smiles. I make plans, keep them, and then have fun doing them! These all might sound like small things to most people, but after going through grief, they are actually quite huge!
And while I am feeling good with myself, relieved almost, there is still a longing in me to hold onto the sadness. A part of me that misses, yes misses, those days that I spent curled up in a ball ignoring phone calls and crying over his clothes. Caleb felt so close to me then. Now he is becoming more and more of a memory, something of my past, a sad thing that happened one April morning. And I HATE that. But I dont know what to do about it. I cant have both worlds. I cant grieve over Caleb intensely right now because 1)I have done that already and 2) My life now wont let me. Abigail requires me to live-not just exist.
Grief is so crazy and so interesting. At first it striped me of who I was. Everything I knew to be true about myself was just gone in one moment. Simple things were hard. Things that used to bring me joy didnt. I would look in the mirror and not recognize myself. Life went from light to dark in an instant. At first I kicked and screamed and stomped my foot. But then, I gave in and got used to the dark. I figured things out there. I finally got to a place where I felt comfortable with the new me grief had handed me. I didnt need the joy, I accepted the sadness and found beauty in it. I didnt need to enjoy life, I could continue to mourn with those who mourn. I had finally surrendered the last bits of "me" and gave into the waves of grief.
Then without asking for it or seeking it out, my old self came back. So now I have to figure this old self out again and how to mesh it with the new self. I am starting to sound crazy and I promise I am not, but I do feel torn. Torn between the land of the living and the land of the dead, which isnt really new; Its just that these days I am doing more on the living side than the dead side and that feels weird, really weird.
So I guess I'll just keep stepping because that is what I have done all along this terrible but beautiful journey. Dark then light. I got good at dying, real used to Good Friday. Standing at the cross was all I knew. How is it that now it's the Easter Sunday kind of living I am struggling with? I know that living in the resurrection does not mean leaving behind Caleb. Why does it feel like that though? The further I get from my own "good Friday," the more I want it back. Strange, but that is where I am at now.