Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Long Way to Go

At almost eighteen months out, I feel like I've only just begun the hard work of grieving. The first nine months were shock, numbness, putting one foot in front of the other. After the new year I felt good for quite a while -- six months of the calm before the storm. I stretched out my grief peer counselor visits to every two weeks; I stopped seeing my therapist. Then coming back from a trip to visit T's extended family in July, I hit a wall and felt pretty crummy for much of the summer. The reality was sinking in, and I was trying to figure out what it really meant.

I went back to weekly visits with my grief counselor, and I spent a weekend in September at "Grief and Growing", a wonderful program for people dealing with loss. I've been working my way through the exercises in "Mourning and Mitzvah", a guided journal for walking the mourner's path. I am actively searching for ways to process my grief, to let the pain and sadness, loneliness and longing, surface and be recognized. I believe in the idea that by feeling your feelings, you release them and they evolve into something else. I fear that I have a lot of feelings to feel, and it's going to be a while before I've got the emotional energy or heart space to focus on anything else. But it is what it is. Time spent now is necessary, important, and well-invested.

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