Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bad Days

Everyone has them.  Days where no matter what you do, nothing can go right, and all you want to do to is just crawl back under your covers and hide until all the bad fades away.  When you finally emerge from your blanket cocoon, all is right in the world once again.

Or so you'd think.

At least, that's how I believed "bad" days worked.  Before.

Before I lost all my good days.  Before I really knew what it meant to have a bad day.

You see, folks.  When you're mired in grief a bad day starts out just like any other day.  You wake up.  You lay in bed, dreading the day to come, but knowing you have to get up.  The dogs (and/or cats) need to be let out and fed.  There is work to be done.  Chores around the house.  Laundry.  Cleaning.  Mowing Lawn.  And, bills to be paid.

So, you crawl out of your bed, knowing that you have to, not because you want to feel the sun on your cheeks or feel the warm air kiss your skin.  You've got a routine, one you stick to because if you don't force yourself to put one foot in front of the other, you're going to fall apart.

You make the motions.  Going to work.  Smiling at people you meet.  Engaging in small talk when absolutely necessary.  Put your head down and focus on what is right in front of you.  All the while telling yourself to just, "keep it together. for just a little longer."

You hide that pain behind a mask of feigned concentration on a particular task or of empathy when a coworker complains to you about her latest diet fail.  Mostly, you hide behind jokes and sarcasm.

And you count the seconds till five, till you can escape the office and go home, hide away and just let the tears that have been threatening to take over all day, consume you.  Sometimes, they spill over before you've even left the parking lot.  Other days, you never shed a drop.  And still others find you constantly on the verge of tears, anything, even a sideways look from a coworker might break the dam you'd so carefully erected around yourself.

Those are the bad days.

The really bad ones come when the sun is shining down, birds are singing and you feel happy.  For once.  You laugh.  You joke.  It's all genuine.  And then, someone says or does something that reminds you.  You see a sign for a new video game or movie that brings it all back.

And you crash.  How dare you laugh?  How dare you have fun when the person who you had the most fun with is no longer here?  HOW DARE YOU FORGET? FOR EVEN A SECOND???

Those are the really, really bad ones.  The days that start out good, great even, and then the world comes crashing down around you.

I guess (if you're still reading this post) by now you're wondering what in the flaming f**k I'm yammering about.  I suppose this is a bit of a rambling monologue.  But, really, I warned you all that this blog wouldn't be all sunshine and smiles...didn't I?

Anyway, I do have a reason for this post...sort of.   I heard something the other day, something that resonated with me and I feel like it might resonate with others going through the loss of a loved one.

Ready for this bit of wisdom, folks?

Grief is a suitcase that you are packing for a journey.  Every day, you have to pack up that suitcase and take it with you.  Some days that suitcase is light as air, the journey easy, almost fun.  Others it's overfull, huge, and cumbersome.  You could collapse under the weight of it all.  It's a struggle just to put one foot in front of the other.  

But, no matter how difficult, you pick that suitcase up and take it with you.  Every day.  Light or Heavy.  That case will never leave your side.  Because grief is a burden that never really goes away.  

It does, however, become easier to bear.  Day by day.  Hour by hour.  Until the heavy days become fewer and further between, the light days more often.  

The suitcase will always be with you, because if it wasn't there, you'd have no place to hold all the good memories that right now are so difficult to recall without feeling so much pain.

-K