I am ebbing and flowing, been missing in action on my blog due to exhaustion and grief.  If I was to try to explain my current status and frame of mind….the one word I would use would be, juxtaposed.  Let me explain.
My oldest daughter just had her first baby.  What a little cutie pie she is!  While my Sarah was pregnant she came over for a photo shoot of maternity pictures that my youngest daughter, Tracey was going to take.  While they were here Tracey took pictures of Chris and myself.  I pour over them.  If they were not digital, those pictures would be dull and tattered already from me looking at them.  I have them in a folder on my computer, with other photos of myself, some before Fred died and some after.  I look at the similarities and differences.  I wonder what it would be like to go back to that person I was, but I quickly realize that is never an option.
It seems that everything is juxtaposed in life these days.  Not the physical but more of the thoughts and ideas.  Where once it was easy to form a stream of conscious thought and stay on subject, now it is impossible NOT to intertwine completely different thoughts and streams to form some sort of strange connection.  I am convinced that intense grief has done this too me.  In places where I already exhibited depth and breadth, I dug deeper and I got squirrely-er.
It is not uncommon in these recent months for my mind to wander to places and then get stuck there.  I have always been a believer in the process of healing from anything in my life…I have to sit in the middle of it and wallow for a while.  For example, an argument or time during my marriage when things felt absolutely unrepairable…I listened to the most depressing music I could find that was relevant to my situation, I wrote dark short stories, I made sad journal entries, I thought of some of the most tragic things.  But as my history in the low tides goes, I got through it and bathing myself in sorrow and pity is what most definitely helped me.  But to try to visualize something like that, it is not a constant 24/7, sit in a room, and be depressed.  Wallowing in depressing thoughts can be scheduled and managed just like anything else.  I have alone time when I don’t let anything else interrupt the traffic in my head.  There are stop lights with green, red, and yellow.  There are conjoining roads, leading to good places and bad.  Some paths are under construction and others are closed to any thru traffic.
Grief is a little different.  I do the same kind of  “sitting in the middle of it”, but I cannot schedule it.  I shows up and knocks the wind out of me and I cannot put the brakes on.  In the months after my son’s death it was apparent that I had no control over grief and that I just had to let it happen.  It happens in the most bizarre of places with some of the strangest of triggers.  Going to the bank or the hardware store or the grocery store.  They seem to be mundane and boring tasks.  But, as one day standing in the bank, trying to resolve a statement issue proved to me, it is the little things that are the hardest during this grief.  I absolutely had a meltdown and could not stop the tears.  The bank was full of people behind me in line and the teller just stared at me not knowing what to do or what to say.  All I could think of later, when trying to determine what brought it on…Fred had a bank account there.  Fred went to that bank, went to school with the teller’s kids, dated the teller’s daughter’s best friend.  Fred had been to that bank and stood at that counter, maybe touched that pen.  Fred worked hard and brought his money to that bank.  Fred would never be in that bank again.
All of the thoughts, up to my falling apart at the bank counter, these thoughts happened within seconds.  My mind raced like a high-speed chase coming out of nowhere.
Well, I stopped going to the bank mostly because I felt foolish because I knew no one could understand what was happening to me, they just stared.  I felt like I needed a fucking ambulance and that my body was hemorrhaging all over the floor…..but they just stared.  That stings, it is another pain on top of the already unbearable pain.  It is easier to NOT go somewhere since I cannot trust myself that I will not fall apart.  I do not want to put others through that.  I do not want to put myself in that uncomfortable spot again.
So I put that experience next to a suicidal person.  I try to dig deep into what the traffic stats are in their head.  What stung?  Who stared?  Who did not call the ambulance?
I still long for that beautiful life to shower me with wishes, dreams, flowers, good smells, and absolute happiness and contentedness.  It may be the only thing that keeps me hoping for a new day.  The “wanting more out of life”, the “needing to see a change”, and even the “making everyone understand”.   I venture out into traffic, physically and mentally, cautiously.  I don’t have any type of insurance to fix a broken fender on my heart.  I watch the thoughts speed by, I place my toes off the curb and into the street.
I may cross your path in traffic someday.  I hope you will wave and offer some compassion.  I hope you do that for anyone you meet.  Stopping yourself and trying to understand what someone is going through.  It can teach you a lot about yourself.  Juxtaposition in action, on a personal level.  Abstractly, and subconsciously comparing and shuffling up experience to regain new ground.