Grief is funny in that it can spring up on you when you least expect it. It lives slightly under the surface of your heart.................for a long time.
It is a gorgeous fall day. Clean, cold, crisp air. The sun holds promise and encouragement for the day. I am driving and my mind is occupied fully with the tasks of the day. I am feeling accomplished because I am on schedule. The radio is blaring out my favorite songs. I have no thoughts that are sad.
Suddenly and without warning two thoughts enter my head. "Kill 'em with kindness." and "It is better to catch bees with honey than with vinegar."
I almost veer off the road. I am dumbfounded with these thoughts. I cannot imagine why I would think them. Why they would pop into my head. Then just as suddenly as I can't know..........I know. These are my mother's sayings. Somehow she has put these thoughts in my head. Before I know what is happening I am having to blink back tears in order to stay on the road. My chest is heaving violently with sobs. I am both shocked and surprised at what is happening. My mother is riding shot-gun and This Is Day 363.
I must continue driving and I struggle to think of other things. But I can't. I physically can't. My mind goes back to last year at this time and again I am driving. It is the morning of the day that my mother died. But, of course, I do not know this then. If only I had known. The day is just like this day. It holds so much promise. I am exhausted from spending time at the hospital with our baby. But, things are looking up. Things do not look up. Later I will be mentally and physically crushed with the news that my mother has died.
In my mind I fast forward to getting this knowledge. It is through a phone call. This cannot be avoided. I don't even remember the exact words, but I remember willing him not to say the words. I distinctly remember thinking, "Do not say she is dead. She will not be dead to me if you do not say it." And then, he said it.
I have a desperate desire to stroke your cheek. To be embraced like only you can embrace. An embrace that says, "You are all I need." But without any words. I desire to sit with you. Me on the couch. You in your rocking chair. And we do not talk. There is no need for words.
As I am thinking these thoughts I am still driving. The thought passes through my head that I do not want to wreck. I must maintain my composure. Grief is funny like that. It can swim up to the surface of your heart quickly and it will give you no warning. It will take over your body so that you have no will.
I get to my destination and I pull down the visor to check for damage. The damage is extensive. I look like grief. I am aware that I look like someone who has just learned that her mother has died.
This morning I awoke from a deep sleep. I checked the clock. It was 2:39. After doing this the first thought I had was you. I was aware that this was the day that you died. My body was immediately racked with sobs that I could not control. I called out to you to stop this. And you said one word to me. "Cry."
The funny thing about grief is that this is Day 365. And it feels just like Day One.