Saturday, April 25, 2009

Grief

Thoughts, thoughts eddy around the shoals and shallows of my mind, slipping through the undulating stream of the moment like quicksilver. My moods this week are mercurial and capricious, as the thoughts tumble and fight in dark corners, snarling maliciously and fastening sharp teeth in melancholy and grief, then escalating into rage and a frustrated acceptance of reality’s cruelty.

A week of aching loss.

A week of remembered sorrow and new sorrow.

Deaths from before and deaths in the now. Deaths of the body and the death of memory.

I haven’t handled it well.

Patterns repeat as without conscious volition we revert to character and to past coping strategies. I am the Crab , and like my zodiac sign, I withdraw into my hard carapace and seek comfort in disconnecting from the world, from softness and caring, from exposing the soft underbelly of my vulnerability.

Which when all is said and done is, this fierce refusal to share pain is hard on those who care about you because reaching out is an impossibility for me, sharing sorrow an anathema, exposing grief a horrifying thought.

Yet...and yet, one could speculate that proximity and familiarity would engender understanding. That patterns and personalities long studied would give insight and a modicum of comprehension.

There are times I despise the submissive core of my personality.

The softness that I cannot help but perceive as weakness. The yearning need to please that creates a horrific disconnectedness in the core of self as my body and muscle memory blindly follow the need, voiced or unvoiced but felt and incorporated in the very fibres of being. The call, once met with joy and an all encompassing rightness but now creating friction and confusion.

Submission battles within the fractured battlefield of my mind and heart as rationality and reality attempts to force its atavistic want to capitulate.

Pride... pride which has buoyed me up through perfect storms of misunderstandings, accusations and abuse. Pride which has given me the spurious comfort of perceived strength. Pride which has provided me with the small, crucial buoy needed to keep from drowning.... I cannot, will not, give it up and cling to it in the dissonance of my fractured life with desperation and an implacable will.

There are times I damn my submissiveness, loathe it and see in it the seeds of my self-destruction. For that yearning, aching void seems to exert control beyond what the myriad, complicated other facets of my human life involve.

Patterns...for me anger is my cherished ally, rage my saviour. I find calmness when wrath envelops me in its comforting embrace, when its hot aching want fills the cold, tender spaces of my heart with a flame so cold it burns. And best, anger drowns the clarion cry of submission and watches with a fierce delight its capitulation and cowering adulation.

But there is a part of me, a little wisp of self that crouches in the corner of my roiling mind and frets at being left bereft, alone. A little facet of rationality and balance that senses to reach out is not weakness but strength, to embrace and release requires courage and will.

But the quicksilver realities of my beloved Pride and Rage rally and I pull them about me and open wide my mouth and drink in their bitter tisane and swallow.

And stoic, accept their bitter lessons.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

(Dylan Thomas, 1914-1953)

Goodbye, Mel, my dear friend

9 comments:

PK said...

Hugs. I know your pain. All too well.

Hugs. A cuppa tea. And more hugs. And then a blankie.

PK

Buffalo said...

Pain, both emotional and physical, are natural manifestations of the human experience. The intensity of emotional pain, the gut-wrenching sorrow resulting from a loss, is in direct correlation to the amount of love we held for that loss. In that respect the pain should almost be welcomed as it heralds the ability to love intensely.

Physical pain we must bear. How can we truly appreciate the joy of a good life, a strong and healthy body, if we do not experience some pain along the way that makes us realize nothing is permanent?

May your friend find her ride across the River Styx calm and smooth; her arrival on the opposite shore a thing of joy as she is greeted by those she has loved and have gone on before.

It's all good, Selkie.

vanimp said...

Shes with you when times are hard for you, she watches over you too. be strong as I know you are, the tides of emotion will settle again *hugs* x

Liras said...

It can be bloody damn hard to reach out for help. Do not blame yourself for withdrawing. It is a natural response.

M:e said...

Just soft hugs sweety....and much love.....you know where I am if you need me.

xxx

Tallgrass said...

I'm more and more convinced there is nothing that can be said to ease grief expect to tell someone that you care, and I do.

Gillette said...

Hugs.

Sir J said...

selkie,

I am sorry for loss and for your pain.

J.

selkie said...

Three funerals in less than three months; it was a lot to take - the last being the hardest - a woman so full of life and vitality I haven't taken it in yet. But life continues, and I am learning that there are no certitudes - we don't know the extent of our lifelines - seize the day.