Find the Wonderful

There is something unsettling about grief for it can tie my arms and wrists, wrap shackles on my legs and fetter my fears inside my heart. Grief whispers lies, faintly heard but noticeably present — I know it's there because my stomach fills with butterflies and my arms tingle with intensity. I cannot swallow or breathe.

My good days coincided with my son's. He fell short of a good week by getting caught spitting on the playground, a minor offense in my opinion, but it warranted a parent/teacher/child discussion after school last week. 

My fears returned about the same time. I wondered if I would ever find another man who was as attractive as my last. I held my breath as I remembered those jeans he would wear. Ah but lest I forget how things turned for the worse in the end. 

Yes I do forget.

And when I do forget, the fears creep in. Will I ever find someone who will read poems to me? Who will tell me that I have no idea how beautiful I am (because I do not think I am). Who, who, who... the list goes on until I fret and worry and pray.

I hold it in and go about my day, trying to gather hours of relief, focusing on the present, working on whatever. I made white chili this weekend. I cleaned out my car (what a job!). I cleaned and organized the garage, hung our bikes, handed out treats for trick or treating, made small chat with neighbors and friends. I went to a birthday party. I saw a show. I re-organized my pantry. My house is looking good. Every nook and cranny is clean and organized. There are 50% fewer things and I love that. Church. Grocery store. Started a new book. Read the Sunday paper. Attended a couple meetings and a bible study. I put on make up, lipstick, mascara.

It's not as if I am sitting around.

But there are waves of grief, and I can't stop the process from happening. While I wish I could say, "Asshole. You were an asshole and not worth my time nor my son's time. Good riddance!" I cannot. I don't have it in me most days. I've been praying on my knees lately, a posture that reminds me God is greater and more powerful than me. I need to believe that right now. That is how I find hope in all of this.

And some days I can wish him good riddance. Some days I can say "You're missing out." I try. I seek. I study. I pray. I practice mindfulness. I eat healthy and take supplements. I'm busy and I take care of me and my son. It's a daily job. It's work. I'm doing all I can.

After a while the dam breaks. Once someone presses hard enough, whether it's the women in my prayer group, myself or whomever I'm being honest with, the tears come. I loved you!! I say to an imaginary man sitting in my room. But he can't hear me nor does he care. So then I turn to God, I'm afraid I wont find the wonderful again.

I let it out until the restraint around my heart is released and I can breathe again.