Well, I'm still here though it feels like only just. And still no idea of what 'there' will be or look like.
The last 3 weeks have been a total grief s**tstorm, full on liminal thuggery. The Liminal Thug dragged me deep underwater, plunged me further than I knew I could go and I'm only just coming up for breath. Damn it, I struggled under there. I resisted. I fought. And then finally let go, realising that maybe I am part-mermaid and can breathe underwater after all, taking in all there is to see in the previously hidden depths. There are some really strange fish under there.
Having been broken open yet again, I'm emerging more wide eyed and wiser than before. Enjoying the relief of NOW and not even contemplating whether or when I'll be dragged down again. So this is what grief feels like when you lose the most important person in your life. Heartbreaking. It's only been 3 months since Dad flew off on the Big Sofa to the sky. I thought I was doing okay with this grief thing but didn't anticipate that I was just storing it all up for a delayed outburst with a splash of PTSD thrown in for good measure.
My trusty life belts over the last few weeks have included my journal, my fountain pen, the structure of having to go to work (hola self employment...the show must go on!) and David Whyte's Consolations. For weeks I was too stunned to write and then the ink took over and the words tumbled out as fast as the tears. Never have I been clearer about the cathartic and alchemical power of releasing words on to paper. Where I've previously felt stuck, big realisations and aha moments have flowed, my mind slowly clearing and the sheer relief of not having to store it all inside was soul balm in itself. And not surprisingly my bowels decided to join in the big let go too. Yes, it was a s**tstorm on many levels.
This grief thing is murky stuff. And requires soul stirring reading. Consolations has been my underwater travelling companion, gently nudging me to embrace the profundity of this experience rather than run away from it. To stand right on the frontline. This is what good books can do for us. Be a life belt to hang on to whilst we are dragged back to the shore. There is so much I could quote from David Whyte's interpretation of the hidden meaning of everyday words that I'd get prosecuted for copywright infringement. So I'll leave you, my fellow mermaids, with a bit more of David's wisdom on heartbreak, because we've all been there in some shape or form...
"Heartbreak asks us not to look for an alternative path. It is an introduction to what we love and have loved, an inescapable and often beautiful question, something and someone that has been with us all along, asking us to be ready for the ultimate letting go."