13 March 2015

sailing blind

...yeah.  that's kind of what it feels like.  grief does.  losing your mother does.

it's been two weeks.

so far mostly it feels surreal.  I've lived most of the last 18 years of my life without interacting with my mom on a day to day basis.  it feels like I've just reverted to one of those years.  one of those weeks.

but the first crashing wave hit me hard just now.  I guess surreal felt like a calm sea. productivity.  things to do.   mental check lists.  deep cleaning the upstairs after a few months of domestic neglect.  returning medical supplies on loan.  preparing for the work retreat coming up.  emails to write.  more lists to be made and checked off.

remember, I'm blind in this grief thing, so I don't really know what's coming or when or how.  that's okay.  I've made my peace with that - to the extent that you can when it comes to not knowing.

there was a ripple in the surreal the other night when I thought about the strife and struggle and loss in the lives of people who I love in various parts of the world.  of death.  of conflict.  of lack of honor and respect.  and then the thought came full circle around to me.  to mom.  it was a moment.  a moment of heaviness.  hm.  a moment that passed quicker than I anticipated.  couldn't see it coming or going.

last night there was a swell when I dropped off groceries downstairs where dad was watching 24.  alone.  dad never watches a tv show, at night, alone.  always with mom begging for "just one more" episode.  he explained Jeff was no fun since he falls asleep during everything.  might as well watch by yourself.  chuckle.  well, I guess.  I guess this is something dad does now.  wow.  then my book ended with more death than I expected.  than they expected.  people who loved.  people who lost.  whoah. and again, away it went.  I wasn't sure if I should expect a flood yet...

between the ripple and the swell there was more surreal.  there were more lists and emails and errands.

tonight there was dinner with aunt and uncle.  family.  we want to hear your memories they said.  so we shared.  we laughed.  we paused in silence now and again.  thoughts.  momentary realizations.  there was the drive home.  the collecting of mail. the discussions of plans for the coming week.  up in my room I opened the mail.  a dear family friend who lost his wife had written.  about mom.  about his wife. and about tears. hm. I haven't had as many as I thought.  then there was a poem.  maybe it was his tender care in writing us.  his words carefully chosen and from a place of deep understanding.  maybe it was the words of the poem about tears.  but the stormy wave crashed down.  there they came.  sobs.  sobs of sorrow.  crashing down my cheeks.  I miss my mama.  I've lost her to heaven and she's not coming back.

I didn't see the storm coming. this expedition is blind.  remember.  there were no sailing lessons this time out.

I went and sat with my dad.  He feels the waves.  We sail blind, but we are not alone.


Judith said...

Sincere condolences, Heidi. The loss of one's mother never changes its character. But loves reigns over us, and the pain eases. I am praying for your comforting. Judy in HMB

DrsMyhre said...

Heidi this may come twice as I am standing in the OR hall waiting for a 28 wk preem by CS. But I love the analogy and images if this post. Perfect description. And points to Jesus walking out to your boat in the a waves.

E.B. said...

What little grief I've experienced in my life has always felt both completely strange and hauntingly familiar all at once, and navigating it amidst everything else is truly surreal. I HAVE been sailing, like in a boat, and can tell you that this analogy is spot on; it's exhilarating and terrifying and beautiful and even when you can see perfectly you feel blinded by how little control you have.