Thursday, December 29, 2011
This morning I went to the chiropractor. I treat him like a therapist. He asks me how I'm feeling (referring to my neck or hips) and I tell him that I'm tired, that I don't feel like running, that I lack motivation. Today he asked me what my new year's resolutions are..."to try to be happy" I said. He is a kind man. He listens, sometimes we talk about Jonah, and then cracks my neck in a horrifying way. I always feel a little better emotionally and physically when I leave. It is amazing to me how our bodies are tied to our emotions. Right after Jonah died I found that I was so sad I couldn't eat, and I felt like throwing up all the time. That feeling returned to me two nights ago. I felt overwhelmed by grief, by self-pity, by the world, by the subtle reminders that in an instant my life transformed from joyful to devastated. I felt out of control.
Grief is full of metaphors. Some have said its like sinking in quicksand, like bubbles coming to the surface, like a roller coaster, like climbing a mountain. In this third month it feels to me like learning to walk a tight-rope. Each step forward is timid, unsure. There is fear and adrenaline. I am constantly seeking balance. But how do I balance remembering my sweet Jonah, while moving forward? Each step forward seems like a step away from him, from my life with him.
I look at his picture on our fridge and stare at his beautiful blue eyes, and at the same time I feel the need to look away. His eyes, for me, carry such intense pain and joy. I long to remember his smile, his laugh, his hair, his dimples, the way his body rested on mine. But when my mind drifts to these memories, they are followed by a memory of the panic I felt when his body was limp in my arms. How do I balance remembering and forgetting?
There are days when I cry a lot, when I search his room for his smell, when I read the journal entries of his short life, when I talk of him joyfully. Then there are days when I shut down. I can't talk about anything, especially Jonah. To me these emotions feel like the rapid sway of a tight-rope under my balancing body. My fate lies in my ability to regain my balance, to stay centered. I try to gain control, and I fear over correcting and falling.
I am trying to find balance in slowing down my pace and in being deliberate in my steps. I breathe deeply, and try to focus on the things that are within my control. I have never been to alcoholics anonymous, but the serenity prayer runs through my mind.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
If only my heart and mind could find the balance of this prayer. That would be beautiful, peaceful. Instead I find myself feeling more like Frank Constanza yelling "Serenity Now!" A little frenetic.
I guess I will have to accept the frantic sway of the tightrope until I learn to balance. I will make subtle moves, simple steps. Maybe someday it will become second nature to me. Until then I will continue to miss Jonah deeply, to be blown off course by the slightest breeze of memory, to freeze momentarily in fear, and to slowly move forward.