Good Grief

A good friend asked me the other night how we’re doing with grieving. She (rightly) observed that I haven’t written about it much here recently. It’s a good question.

For the first several weeks after Jasmine died, I felt like I was being jerked up and down like some capricious kid’s balloon. There were strong incidents of grieving that I could write clearly about because it was an “event” of sorts, with a beginning and an ending. Recent weeks have been different. I feel more like a shell on the beach, washed over by waves that bury me when the tide comes in, and exposed to the sun when the tide goes out.

I still cry just about every day. Not loud weeping, wailing or banging on things, just a quiet seeping of tears that happens when I am caught off guard by something — the release of an album by one of her favorite artists, catching her eye in one of her pictures, seeing a movie that she wanted to see, or smelling a smell that reminds me of her. I feel quietly overwhelmed by sadness in small, lapping waves sometimes. Every day it becomes a little more real that she’s never coming back. Every night I fall asleep hoping for some kind of communication from her, whether it be a dream or some kind of actual visitation. I haven’t had anything like that since the puff on the cheek right after we got home from St. Louis.

I also laugh and am glad to be alive. I’m not suicidal and I don’t believe my life ended with Jasmine’s. I have been renewed in many ways by her death — I am back in contact with old friends, I’m getting my body in shape and I’m writing. Life feels more bright, somehow, more real and more precious. I feel like a piece of me is living for her — that if I stopped being vibrant and alive, it would be a huge insult to her life and the person that she was.

I have pretty much shed myself of expectations for this process and just try to deal with whatever comes as it arrives. My experience feels so different from those I read about that I’ve just mentally shrugged my shoulders and moved on. I feel I’m handling this well, in a way that allows me to be true to who I am and that allows me to feel what I need to feel when I need to feel it. I am grateful that the things that seemed true to me about the value of a life and what death is about were deep-seated and not changed by Jasmine’s actual death.

I would prefer to let Jeff speak for himself on this topic… maybe he’ll add something in the comments. If he does, feel free to comment “back” to him there. Poor guy has developed a complex about being a conversation stopper and thinks that every time he posts comments here, people stop talking.

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