On mother’s day just past I spent an hour trying to calm my three year old daughter because she didn’t want to get out of the shower. It was a huge tantrum that left the both of us floored and in tears. Admittedly for a while after John passed I let her walk all over me because I didn’t have the energy for a tantrum if she didn’t get her own way. So her behaviour problems towards me are my own fault. As I stood my ground with her and watched her tears fall while she kicked and screamed, I felt defeated. Though I stuck it out with her, for her, because she needs me to be strong. It’s not easy.
By the end of it she sat on her bed and sobbed and I sat crouched in the corner of her room and cried. The words “I wish you were here” escaped as a whisper and the pain of saying out loud “things would be so different if you were here” stung just as tenderly as they did the first time I said them. So I went to her side and brushed her face with my palm. I wiped her tears and told her how much I love her. She threw her arms around me and pressed her face into my neck. And I remembered why I am still here. As hard as it is some days.
This life has been far from fair and heartache seems to stalk and linger with each step forward. Right now I wish I could forget, I wish I could escape it, I wish I could pretend it wasn’t real. Writing was my way to escape, but now each time I write of grief I feel like I’m drowning, choking and I can’t breathe. I am expected to be better now, it’s coming up to 18 months. That thought makes me feel sick. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I feel as though my timeline for this grief is up, that it’s not acceptable. My daughter needs me, so I need to push my grief aside. My job needs me to forget my grief, my friends and family need me to be happy. There is no particular reason I feel this way but I do. I no longer talk about him all the time because he’s not coming back. I am sorry, I am not strong today. I wish I could write something positive, something to help. But today I am just surviving. Pretending. Being dishonest with myself and longing for more than this life.