Sorry I've been MIA lately. Just haven't felt like writing. Also I've been distracted. The first week of May I was up in New York visiting my brother for 10 days.
Anyway, on to the main purpose of this blog...
You know those profound experiences, that you know for some reason, they will make it past your short term memory and be significant enough to be stored in that filing cabinet labeled "Long-term Memory"? And that somehow you know that you had that experience for a reason. That the universe put you in that particular situation for a reason that you may never understand until it hits you. Well, I had one of those moments yesterday.
I am starting to volunteer for an organization that has a crisis hotline available to anyone in crisis, may it be sexual violence, sudden death or domestic abuse in the Southwest Florida region. I am still in the process of completing the training, but it seems like it's a good fit for me. I want to be able to help others in their most desperate time of need. Maybe somehow, through the path my life has taken, I will be able to touch someone else's life and give them the hope and the strength to continue on. I don't want what I've been through to go to waste. I want to channel it and use it to help others.
Anyway, yesterday I went in for a lunch/training session with some of the other volunteers. I didn't know how the training session was going to go or what it was going to consist of, so I was really unprepared for what I was about to step into. As we got started, the speaker, who was a psychologist, tells us that the topic is on loss, grief and depression. Automatically, my heart sinks and my throat tightens up. I reminded myself that it was ok, I am good at holding it together in public. We quickly went over the first two topics - loss and grief. I opened up and shared about Michael because, obviously, my situation was relevant to the topic. What happened after that is going to stick with me for the rest of my life.
The doctor asked us all to close our eyes. Take a few deep breaths and focus on our breathing. She told us to imagine that we were walking up to a beautiful forest. That the sun was shining and it was a beautiful warm day. The forest seemed very inviting and told us to imagine walking into the forest. After walking for some time, you see a cottage. The cottage is very quant and seems harmless. So you decide to walk up to the cottage and knock on the door. After a moment, the door opens and it's your guardian angel.
Out of no where my breath gets short and I have to use all of my strength not to start crying. Because immediately I saw Michael. I saw his beautiful face. His gorgeous smile. It was like he was standing right in front of me. All I wanted to do was to reach out and hug him.
The doctor then tells us that our guardian angel asks us to come inside and sit down. Our guardian angel then says "Tell me your burdens, your losses, and I will carry them for you". The doctor then tells us to think about our earliest loss, our most recent loss, and our most profound loss.
This entire time I am trying to block her out. But I can't help it. I already have a river streaming down my face. I couldn't hold it together. I am usually pretty good at compartmentalizing my grief and saving it until I am in the comfort and privacy of my own home. But I couldn't hold onto that. I immediately thought of Michael. He was my most profound loss. Then my parents getting a divorce - that was my earliest loss. My most resent loss was a loss of a friendship with Michael's best friend.
Then the doctor tells us to imagine our guardian angel saying "Now let go of all of these losses, let me carry them for you. You don't have to worry about them anymore".
Immediately, in my head, I start screaming "NO NO NO"!! I don't want to let go of Michael. I can't. I don't know how. I don't want to. I can let go of my parents divorcing. That's easy. I can let go of my lost friendship. Friends come and go anyway. But my husband? My soulmate? I just can't. And I won't.
After she told us to open our eyes, I jumped up to go to the bathroom. I was a mess. I couldn't stop crying. That hasn't happened in public since the funeral... I think. The bad thing about it is that I didn't know anyone in that room. I had only met the volunteer coordinator once before and that was it. It was like a faucet was turned on and I couldn't turn it off for the life of me.
This was so eye opening to me because no matter how strong and composed I seem on the outside, on the inside I'm weak and hurting - it took going through that to realize it. I also realized that I'm not ready to let Michael go. Yes, I'm ready to be happy again, I am ready for a new chapter, but I just can't let him or that part of my life go. I was also reminded that I am still in the midst of my grief. Traveling and distractions aside, I am still in the thick of it all. Perhaps I should take more time to allow myself to feel the pain. I feel like I am in need of a balance. Equal parts of grief, pain, and sadness with happiness, joy and laughter.