Only the whirring of my ceiling fan and the light patter of rain falling from the roof could be heard through the deafening sound of pain. The gravity of her grip was fierce you would be crushed under her power. Grief. Sadness. Sorrow. Anxiety. My eyes welled and burned with tears that I did not let flow. As a spectator of the pain, uncertainty and impending loss, I gasped for breath in my helplessness.
Ninety minutes of nonstop movement and packing as we gathered up our lives to fit into the back of our Jeep. We barely spoke a word and I just continued to observe, not interfering, not really saying much of anything. The silence was eating me alive, but this is what you do when someone is losing their loved one. This is what you do to be there for them, being in the moment, present, gingerly adhering to boundaries you don’t know where they begin and where they end. Such a wretched feeling.
Grief and loss are such a son of a bitch.
We so deeply want to fix what is broken. We want to hold them so tight the pain goes numb in our presence. We are so uncertain of our role. Where do we stop and where do we begin. How to console, support, be present when we are unsure of where our presence is required.
I watch him in stoicism. Pain and sadness of life so surreal. We all live and we must all die, but what about all the gray we never address. Processing begins through the hours of humming tires on the highway. The wind howling. Fleeting feelings of emotion as we glean in the moments of life. The minutes. The days. The months. Years gone by.
We arrive at her bedside. More surreal. A fragment of a woman once known, once boisterous and bounding with energy; she lay listless and peaceful. His stoic nature broken, crumbling, he is a little boy. Mothers have an uncanny supernatural power to return us to a childlike state. God made his daughters so magnificent to their own children.
Highs and lows of acceptance and denial. Confusion, disbelief, anger and unyielding love. He is back and forth in emotions and stature. Unsure of what to do and how to support him, I console where I can, allowing him to feel what I so terribly wish to take away. Pain. Impending loss. Hurt. Grief. A hole in his soul that may only one day heal, but not entirely. My fear is he will be completely crushed in his grief and pain, as I follow him waiting to pick up any pieces. Yet I give him space as I know this is his alone to process, to feel, to experience. No matter how badly I wish to embrace him in love and remove this pain, this is life. In life we must experience the pain of death, loss. The heat of sadness that is so overwhelming to process. The cold of the come down causes shivers. This is the tsunami of grief. This is natures storm of sadness.