I had an epiphany last evening.
I realized that I have spent this past year living in shock.
During the first week of January 2019, my best friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer which had metastasized to her brain.
From that moment on, my mind and body were in shock mode. I’m guessing this probably happens to many of us in times of extreme crisis.
Why is it important to recognize this?
Because it explains our behavior.
I did and said a lot of stupid things during the course of this year. I won’t go into specifics, mostly because it is still too painful.
But it has caused me so much guilt.
I keep thinking of all the things I should have said and done. Things to make life easier for my bestie.
For the most part, I have been good about realizing I was doing the best I could, and not allowing myself to plunge over the edge and into full-tilt despair. I know that everything I did and said were completely out of love.
But despite all of my rationalizations, I still was in internal agony.
After she passed, I would spend nights crying… saying I’m sorry. Knowing that she understood, but still…. no peace…
And last night, I finally realized… it was because of shock.
And in that moment I started to feel a sense of peace.
The thought that we would never be able to live out our retirement years together… the vacations… the outings.. the goofy shit that older folks can get away with…that all of this would never be…
The shock had so fully consumed me… because the reality was too great for my mind and heart to deal with.
So my newly re-wired brain didn’t always do or say the right thing….
And that’s okay….
And the times I didn’t listen…. because I couldn’t….
That’s okay as well…
The times I drove her crazy because I wanted to fix the situation…. because I’m good at fixing things…. because I had to make it better… for her… for myself… for everyone that loved her….
It’s all okay…. it was all out of love….and fear… and denial…
All wrapped up in the protective blanket of shock.
There are 18 of us heading to Kauai on Christmas day. During our time there, we will be spreading her ashes at sea.
There will be alcohol…
There will be laughter…
There will be tears…
But most of all… there will be love… so much love…
I hope this posts can help anyone dealing with loss.
When tragedy strikes, our brains protect us, and there really isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. Shock is one of the methods it uses. Our bodies and minds really do love us, and they do everything possible to shield us from pain.
Shock can last so much longer that a few moments, something I had never realized.
For me it is lasted about 2 weeks short of a year.
And I may still be drifting in and out of it… time will tell…
So please, be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can. The ones you love and grieve for know this… and they need you to know it as well.
Find the peace in your soul that they want so much to share with you. It’s there… I promise. When you’re ready to see it, it will shine.