If you look out over the ocean and follow the deep blue far enough to where it blends with the light blue sky, you will see that the sea is placid. From this distant vantage point, one could easily believe that the ocean does not have waves, chop or undercurrents. Distance, rightly or wrongly, gives the perception of the ocean’s stillness as it meets its resting place with the horizon.
I have been the ocean today. Yesterday my mother left my house in Durham after a short two day visit, and for whatever reason, so much of our loss came crashing in on me after she left. Is this the new normal that I’m supposed to carry on with? Everything is so quiet, so placid. I have free time… free time for me. I have not really had ‘free time for me’ in over a year. This is depressing, and exciting.
I flowed through my day today, experiencing the rhythm of crashing and receding waves of grief. I had moments of ‘normal’ happiness. A pedicure that was to benefit all mankind (my feet could rival Fred Flintstone’s). Lunch and dinner with friends who felt like cozy wool socks for my soul. Cooking in my own kitchen knowing that for better or worse I made a wholesome meal free of food borne pathogens. Sleeping late in my comfy bed and waking to lounge with a book for two hours before getting out of bed… I had lots of quality ‘normal.’
And then there were tough moments where memories of my father happy and healthy were so close and bittersweet. Sometimes I still feel like I’m going to see him come around the corner with his head lilted back in his puckish laugh. All the hustle and bustle has ended, and society has now demarcated this time as a time to carry on, even if you’re unable to move on or get over.
So carry on I will. I accept that any intimate vantage point will show the rhythm of grief (waves crashing) and peace (waves receding). I also choose to embrace the perspective that with some distance and time, I will seem as the ocean seems when it meets the horizon, placid and lovely. I also accept that the truth is this loss will always leave me as the ocean with its waves, chop and undercurrent. But for now, I will dutifully blow up my life raft, and let the rhythm of the waves roll beneath me, rock me to sleep and carry me forward.