Wednesday, September 7, 2022

The Grief Paradox

Honestly? Grief's weird.

You can have a semi-normal few hours, maybe a workday that isn't half bad, partake in a hobby you enjoy or just get a tiny bit excited about something fun coming up in the days or weeks ahead. 

And then WHAM! There it is. Again. 

And you are leveled. Again.

I am fortunate to be relatively inexperienced in this realm. I've lost animals and people that I've cared for deeply, but my prior benchmark for a big loss was as a teenager when "my" childhood horse passed after a 3-day illness. 

I had truly terrible coping mechanisms at the time, mostly from not talking about it; I didn't have many people in my life that would understand how a nearly 40-year old horse dying would affect a 17-year old me. At the time, I thought that nothing in my life would ever compare. 

It's true - this doesn't compare. This is in some ways actually better (read: yes, laying in bed moping but NOT laying in bed moping for literally an entire month), and in other ways much worse. Aside from the obvious point of Marge being *the* individual that literally sculpted who I am, the whole process.. is just different.

Life goes on. Sometimes I want it to speed up. Sometimes I want it to freeze.
Responsibilities continue. Sometimes they're a welcome distraction, other times it's difficult to get through them.
People surround me. Good people. Understanding people. Sometimes I want to repeat the same stories over and over again to any one who will listen and sometimes I want to keep it all in to myself.

I think this all just goes along with being a much more complex human now in my thirties than I was in my teens, but I had no way of knowing that it'd be different until I was in the trenches again. 

I wrote a lot about that loss when I was younger. One line stands out, reflecting on the many lessons learned from that old horse. Keep in mind that this happened just a year before I got Marge. 

"When you come along someone who needs your help, you just might be able to change both their life and your own with a little bit of time and effort."

We sure did set that lesson into motion, didn't we?

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