Thursday, November 22, 2012


I feel like I fell into a pit or a well that is just wide enough for my body to be wedged inside.  And, of course, I didn't fall gracefully.  Instead, I am stuck with one leg tucked up by my head, the other leg dangling straight down, and one arm crammed next to my head while the other presses awkwardly into my side.  I can't scream for help because I can barely breathe.

I am physically and mentally stuck.

I am stuck, but somehow I have been given a telescope.  With the telescope, I can see life moving on above me, but I still can't get free.

Every day I fight a battle to get up and get out of bed.  On a good day, I can convince myself that getting out of bed is for the best, and that I have a responsibility to my job, my husband, and the other people around me to be 'normal'.  On a bad day, though, I stay in my jammies and sleep and watch tv all day....and usually cry....

I'm 14.5 months into the grieving process, and I can only imagine that some of these statements may seem odd, but please realize that a great portion of the first year of Catelyn's death was spent in shock. 

As soon as the doctors walked into the room our family, friends, and pastor waited in, my brain knew what had happened, but the second those men walked into that room, the shock took over and built a brick wall in front of my face.  The wall was placed there to protect my heart.  My mind wasn't so easy fooled, though, and it caught on right away to what was happening. 

Thus began the battle of my mind versus my heart.

Continually, my mind knew what was happening, but my mind was smart and knew that there was no way my heart could withstand the pain.  The knowledge.  The reality that Catelyn was gone.  So shock took over as best as it could, and my mind was forced to wait....wait for the brick wall of shock to begin to crumble.

It turns out that shock doesn't crumble or fade overnight.  So, the first year of Catelyn's death, was basically spent moment-to-moment, trying to get through, not worrying about what was coming next, just trying to live in each moment and accept it for what it was - ever changing, often painful, and slow moving.

Now, I am not a mason, so I don't know a lot about building brick walls, but I can only guess that when a wall is put up too quickly, there are bound to be mistakes.  Perhaps the mortar didn't take properly, or proper alignment wasn't used, or erosion wasn't accounted for, but for one reason or another, when a wall is put up too quickly, that wall will not hold forever. 

So, bricks started falling somewhat early within the first year, causing my heart to realize what had happened, one glimpse at a time.  And, as one might imagine, the slowly falling bricks helped ease some of the pain of reality.  But, about the time that things started to seem like they were manageable, a large chunk fell off of the remaining wall, and reality really hit, which brings us to present.

For the last 2.5 months, I have been living in reality, truly realizing that my life has changed forever.  But, not only has my life changed dramatically....other people's lives have continued to move forward.  It's so hard to realize you have stayed complacent for a year, and everyone else hasn't. 

When Catelyn died, it was like a fell into a deep, dark, well.  Life kept moving forward, and I was stuck in place.  I've now found myself in the well, but I don't know how to get out.  I'm trying, but I can't figure out the next move. 

I feel disconnected from everyone....and of course I do.  But, if I don't talk about where I'm at, and how I feel, then no one will ever know what I am going through.  And though no one may have the same experience, at least you might be able to get a glimpse (even if only through a telescope) of what it's like for me, and I'm okay with that.  After all, we are all different, and so is our grief.  I like to say we are like snowflakes and that no two people ever grieve the same. 

It's hard for me to feel anything but sad these days, but I don't want you to feel sad for me.  I just want someone to understand that this is a part of the process, and things will improve, but don't rush me or try to change my thinking.  I'm at a point where I need to work my own way listen when you can, or offer encouragement when you can, but don't try to tug on me....I'm in a fragile place, and if you pull too hard, you might break me.

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