I am working through grief again. I am almost at a year since my younger brother died. I am not sleeping well. I suppose that is not quite right; I am not resting well. I sleep, I wake up, I sleep, I have nightmares. I feel like I am awake more than asleep. I am always missing someone very dear to me. Sometimes they fade out of photographs, like in the Back to the Future movie. Sometimes I am having a conversation and I come around the corner and the person I was talking to is simply gone. The variations seem endless. I have not woken up crying, which is at least something.
I have learned about grief in the past year, and much of what I have learned is simply to keep moving through. I let it flow through me, overcome me, leave me in tears, and then I take a deep breath. It is like getting picked up by a wave and tumbled, which has happened to me. If you fight the wave, you end up underwater much longer. If you let the wave carry you, you get dumped on the beach. You may feel like you’ve been run through a washing machine on spin cycle, but you have solid ground beneath your feet again.
I am allowed to be sad. I am allowed to hurt. I am allowed to be weary. I am allowed to feel this pain.
I learned last year that deep grief, the kind that is like a wave, has a component of physical pain. Too much stress piled on to one body, no matter how strong, leaves its mark in pain. I wake up in the morning as sore as if I had swum hard for hours, but it is not a good kind of pain. It hurts to move. I talked to a doctor about it last year and she said it comes with the stress and the lack of sleep. She said it would pass. It did. It is back, but this time I know it will pass.
Today we went to a baseball game. My little brother loved baseball. We went to sushi, which I doubt he would have liked. We went to see a movie he would have enjoyed. A lot of this past week has been filtered through memories of him.
It will pass. That helps, some. I know that I can live through this, accept this as part of me, and I will still be sane and whole at the end of it, once the bigger waves have passed. I saw someone in the grocery store who looked like my brother, so much like him that I caught my breath, and I knew again that this pain will never be completely gone. It is all right, though. I will miss him all my life. He was very dear to me. He will always be dear to me.
It is all right to let grief come through sometimes. It is not necessarily bad, simply hard, and it will pass.