Grief fucks with your head. Chances are if you are reading this, you are familiar already with grief and the head fuck. For me, what I was not expecting was just how much I don’t recognize myself. How much EVERYTHING in my life is coming under scrutiny. My thoughts, my values, my relationships, my plan, my beliefs, my goals, my health and I am including my mental health here because I have questioned that on more than one occasion. I’ve read that grief can look like manic-depressive disorder. My manic episode is whole another topic.
While walking to the market this afternoon, in nanoseconds I went from feeling a hint of anticipation and excitement about an upcoming trip to Italy to tears of grief or guilt or I don’t know what. In my head I attempted to sort through precisely what the emotion was so that I could discover some unconscious content or some truth about my experience or a story, this is where I am at . . . fully immersed in muddled-ness. Is the grief about losing my partner? Is the grief about what life looks like or better yet what it doesn’t look like? Is the current grief an echo of each loss I have ever experienced? Apparently, that is exactly what happens with loss. The grief books and bereavement group facilitators are quick to point out that the immediate loss and sadness may trigger previously unresolved grief. The book How to survive the loss of a lovesuggests that there is obvious loss and nonobvious loss, I believe that was the term. When you throw in the nonobvious loss such as selling a home; moving; lawsuit; and achieving a life long goal as losses that amplify sorrow, geez I am off the Richter scale of grief. The guilt seems a little fuzzy to me it is as if I am dancing around the edge of a volcanic crater. Maybe the guilt is about moving forward and doing what I want without constant negotiation and compromise. Guilt around looking forward to my new life and guilt around the sense of freedom widowhood brings. Honestly I cannot discern the difference between grief and guilt.