- Sally Love
People keep telling me I’m grieving. That my symptoms are the symptoms of grief.
Grief feels like a distant echo of a word. Impersonal. Compared to the experience and sensations of loosing my dad.
I know that grief is the general word for intense sorrow but it doesn’t do justice to all the sensations in my body related to my dad dying.
Tears constantly bubbling away just below the surface
Low tolerance for small talk or bullshit of any kind
Remembering and then forgetting and then remembering again
The shock of each remembering
My dad is gone.
But he is still here.
Perhaps even more than before.
The cliche that I carry him in my heart has never felt truer.
I have a new relationship with my dad. I know it will take time to settle in to this new relationship. Time heals all wounds.
It’s definitely an outdoorsy relationship. Mostly related to the sky and the birds.
It’s also a deep in my heart relationship. Quiet and subtle, achey and comforting.
I heard someone talking about words as triggers the other day. And then someone said the word ashes and I was triggered and then I understood clearly what it’s like to be triggered by words.
It feels like there’s this space in between two logical things that I can’t quite get a grasp on.
One side is the physical - dad very sick, his body done, watching him take his very last breath, sitting with his very dead body all day. He’s dead. There’s no doubt about that.
The other side is the shock, the jarring, sharp pain shooting through my body at the unfathomable truth that he’s
I can’t make sense out of it.
I want to make sense out of it.
I want clear cut, in words, on paper, clarity around my dad being dead, being gone forever, and also
in my heart still and
What I’ve realised is that what I cannot put into words is the edge. My edge. I’m meeting my edge and I’m learning what I need to do at the edge.
I have to meet my edge and soften.
I have to let go of the need to intuitively understand. I have to surrender to feeling it all. There’s no other way. I know that truth deep in my bones.
My 8 year old asked me the other day how to surrender. I tried to explain that it’s the difference between holding on tight and letting go. And the only way to do that is to become aware of how tight you are holding on so that you can consciously choose to let go. I told her it comes with practice and that I’m still learning and practicing.
What I am starting to come to terms with in the loosing of my dad, is that when I meet my edge and I start to crumble, sometimes multiple times a day, I have to practice what I preach.
Gently and lovingly pry my own fingers away from the clutches of trying to control how I feel and how I act.
Notice the constriction in my body.
My heart, my throat, my shoulders.
Through the gentle act of surrender, I open up my heart, body and mind to an ever expansive space. The gift that keeps on giving.
All the good things exist in that space. Love, kindness, gentleness, peace, acceptance.
If I’m honest, sometimes it takes me a long time to get there. But I see no other choice or way.