I am in a rut, and not just the literary kind, but an all-encompassing life-sized-rut where motivation and desire seep from you like water through a collander. The transistion was not slow. Almost overnight, it seems, I realized that I am not myself. I stop. I focus my senses.
I can feel the hollowness reattaching itself to me.
I can sense sadness nearby readying its attack..
I can smell memory beginning its annual journey to possess me.
I cringe at the sharp tone escaping my mouth, even as the tears well - again.
On one level, that of a parent who loves their child unconditionally, even if it means that I have to love her through grief; even if it dictates that I allow despair full reign of my being for a spell -I welcome it.
On a more cognitive plane, I'm aware that it is a rotten time to be deabilitated, especially when the world sees no outward change in my movements or activities. A person mis-diagonsed with a sprain when they have truly broken their leg gets no support. A bereaved mother, approaching nine years out, with two happy, healthy, active girls to celebrate is spared little intuition from her friends. It's approaching that time of year again. ~~ I can tell you are feeling a bit down lately, understandably ~~ I remember her every year too...just thought you might like to know.
It would be nice, wouldn't it -- to have our inner gutting be reconginzed before the inevietable scene where I lose it, crying hysterically as I run from a movie theatre for no very good (read: obvious) reason.
It happens every year, not the running-from-a-movie-like-a-lunatic part, but the first part of this post, the bulleted vingettes that shape-shift my personality as Grief Season begins.
It's started early this year. I'm thrown. I have no idea why.
Perhaps you know I write a monthly blog post for the Share National Blog, perhaps not. It runs the first week of each month. Below is what will appear this week. It says what I'm trying to much better than I seem to be able through a keyboard that's not mine, tears falling upon it, and longing to hold my baby girl's heavy, red-lipped body just one more time that is nearly knocking me out of my chair.
Every year I expect it to get just a bit more bearable. It doesn't.
July 2009 – Grief Season Opens Early
“They stocked the stream yesterday” I hear annually. Within hours the fishing poles, tackle and canoe have been unearthed, readied for the next days use.
“Got your license yet?” is the popular question months later as clever deer take cover and less intuitive ones end up in our freezer.
Vermont is known for its seasons and not just the classic four: Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring. No, here we trudge through Mud Season. We sweat through Hay Season. We swat through Black Fly Season. And, this year, the Rainy Season seems to have come to stay.
What is less attended to is Grief Season. This season is a sneaky one. It does not arrive preceded by rain, or mud or sun. There are no marking flowers or distinct temperatures associated with it. No, that isn’t entirely true. If I stop and focus; if I look, listen, and feel the signs are everywhere: a slight chill in the air, the promise of Fall within weeks, leaves starting to look more crisp than the week before, and a slightly red tint on the leaves of Emma’s burning bush.
This is my grief season. Much like J.K. Rowling’s love potion, the signs are different for each of us. Ordinary parts of perfectly good seasons become omens of rough days to come. She was due on the 6th. . I realized she was gone, then labored through a deluded haze on the 7th. She was born on the 8th.
Annually, I have come to recognize these signals, taking emotional cover. Every August, the roughest segment of road appears marked by a bright yellow road sign: CAUTION - SEPTEMBER APPROACHING – 14 DAYS – SHARP TURNS AHEAD.
And yet, is seems my grief season has begun early. Even if the signs are different, its emotional makeover is unmistakable. Without warning my body hurts, aches, head to toe. I am plagued by constant fatigue. My migraines have returned with vengeance. Armed with prescription meds I can keep them at bay, but they are always there ready to attack with the slightest provocation. My mood, so recently light and flexible to match our summer schedule, has become darker, more subdued with the regrettable side effect that I find myself barking at people more and more. Wait! It isn’t time yet. I’m not ready yet. Oh, just breath – I’ll test this theory.
I smell the air. It’s still hot and sticky.
I search the trees. Their leaves still look supple and lively.
I inspect her burning bush. It is pregnant with growth this year, just as green as its neighbor – not a hint of red.
Don’t ask…no, don’t. But I can’t help myself.
Why? Why the shift in schedule? Does this mean it will pass and dissipate earlier than usual too? Doubtful. So, why the assigned extension?
I could attempt to answer this rhetorical query.
Because I am going back to work.
Because this magical year of writing is coming to a tapered end.
Because babies are still dying.
Because my commitments will cause me to be ‘less Emma’s mother’ again
Because I’m sharing pregnancy after loss anxiety with the members of our support group who are trying again.
Because on September 8th she turns nine years old.
They are only guesses. Some might me more accurate than others, but it comes to the same end. I passed the road sign. My Grief Season has come early this year.
What are your signs that grief season has begun? What are your triggers and how do you try to combat them?
CATCH UP FROM THE START!
TO READ MY STORY FROM THE BEGINNING CLICK HERE THEN READ THE 7 COUNTDOWN POSTS TO EMMA'S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY!