You’ll bury your sorrow
Deep in the sea,
But sea tides aren’t tamed
There will come a tomorrow
When you weep for me
The breaking of waves on a long shore,
In the grey morning the slow fall of rain,
Oh love remember, remember me.
~”Rachel’s Song” by Guy Gavriel Kay, from “The Summer Tree”
If the last few months have taught me anything, it’s the futility of dodging memory.
I had hoped that I was finally beginning to heal, that the wounds were stitching shut. That I had become, in a sudden burst of optimism, possibly capable of finding a way through to something new, of being open to new blossoming in my life. That I still had the courage that Dustin had inspired in me. That I could move on.
What a load of bullshit. There are no shortcuts. There are no easy ways out, no early parole.
The first anniversary of Dustin’s death is bearing down on me, coming next month on May 26. Already I can feel the tides of grief pulling at me, winding tendrils cutting like wire as they wrap around bone. It’s a water torture exorcism as I’m wracked by the ghosts of the past, the could haves and should haves, our lost future as suffocating as dense fog.
I need you like I need air to breathe.
I can’t breathe around it. My lungs are full of sand-again-the burning pressure has returned.
I’ve had offers of help. Tell me what you need. I don’t know!
I have no idea how to make this hurt less. I have no idea how to ask for help, because I don’t know what will help. All I have are gritted teeth and burning lungs and so very far to go. I can’t outrun it, I don’t even want to try. All I know how to do is to just be in it, to give myself up to it. To drown in the short term so there might be a chance that I’ll be whole in the long.
This is a very solitary process, heartbreakingly so. I can talk about it until my limited air runs out, but in the end, I’m the one left alone in the dark, staring down the void. Asking someone to keep me company in the dark…I don’t know how to deal with that. I’m afraid it would be a distraction. I know it would be, because it requires a witnessing, a physical presence. All other forms of communication require words, and there are no words for this.
Grief cannot be rationalized. I can’t think my way through this, or around it. Grief is an experience both visceral and emotional; it is not a thought process. Which means, of course, the only way over it is to experience it. To sit in it like a stone in the river. To dissolve into it, to flow.
To be like water.