I am sitting in the silence of a large house near the ocean, Indi is asleep on the sofa, her tiny little rib cage lifting gently up and down and for the first time in a very long while, there is silence, space and time.
I’ve been trying to write for weeks but just haven’t been able to commit to creating the time to untangle and share the peculiar and very layered emotional roller coaster that I have been going through recently. Which, along with end of year madness, work commitments, Christmas, New Year and very LONG school holidays, is completely due to the fact, that I’ve had fly in from the UK, not only Andy’s gorgeous parents, but so too, the majority of my immediate family, all HERE at the same time.
One of the strangest things about grief for me is that it has created a kind of internal capacity barometer and by capacity I mean, my ability, in – fact my inability, to deal with the emotional needs of others, who perhaps cross an emotional boundary that feels like it somehow compromises my way of passionately living on and I guess to a bigger degree, whilst I loathe the word, how I actually cope. And as you can imagine when you bring together a group of people who’s varied expectations, needs and coping mechanisms of their own, are all SO loaded and bruised with the fragility of loss, the air can get a little heavy to say the least.
I am writing today in the first solo 5 minutes I have had since coming away with the cubs and Andy’s lovely parents, just under a week ago. We are staying in a part of Australia that resembles paradise and where I can actually hear the ocean crashing in as I type. So why is it that the kids and I feel so unsettled and that Indi who barely even remembers her daddy, has dreamed about him almost every night and Jesse, whose independence startles me, has not left my side for a second.
It is simply mind blowing the scale in which one can be shaken by the force of somebody else’s grief. And whilst there is ALWAYS an abundance of love and respect for the sheer scale and power of the individuals loss, there is equally the necessity for the time and space needed to reground one’s self in what, why and how YOU wish to rebuild, re create and live on through what for some, is almost never ending pain and for others becomes the fuel to drive living life at a whole other level.
Yesterday as we hopped in the car for a short drive to meet some friends for lunch, the GPS decided it was not going to work. My instant response was to start driving in the general direction that we were going and trust whole-heartedly that either the GPS would reboot, or we would just find the way to our destination, even if we took the odd wrong turn along the way. However my father in law had a very different response.
‘I would never ever begin a journey with out knowing exactly where I was going.’ Was the profound sentence that he spoke, in his deep and very melodic voice and whilst the words were spoken in a very passive and non specific way, it in fact, to my ears, stripped naked the figure, that I saw in that moment, had walked through life with so much fear and my heart felt like it was splitting open, as I began to imagine the pain of this father who was so powerlessley unable to save his son.
But just as quickly as I felt his pain, I had to let it go, in order to jump back onto the raft that I had worked so hard to build to sail the cubs and I back onto dry and safe land, away from the sadness and the pain and to a place that was filled with the possibility of growing loss into a love of life and ALL that it has to offer.
And right there it hit me like a soccer- punch to the side of my head and as I watched his profound and very powerful words evaporate in the summers heat, I realised that my way and indeed the cubs way of navigating our way through life after andy, has and is ALL about setting out in the general direction of where we most want to go and trusting so very deeply that one way or another, we WILL get there.
The conversation of grief is as wide as an ocean and so unimaginably deep that it is impossible to define in one small conversation, so todays post is not about the right way or the wrong way, but about what it will take for you, to find YOUR way, to get the most out of your one incredibly precious life and and to remember that what ever happens along the way, the detours, the wrong turns, the bumps and the almighty crashes, that they are ALL a part of life’s crazy adventure….
Please take the time to share your insights, experiences and thoughts and post your piece below.
Nothing but love …