I realize I have gotten to a point where I go through my week, head down and pushing things back to keep grief at bay. The weekend hits and my first day is full of errands and obligations but my second day is dedicated to allowing the gates of grief to open when I write this weekly blog. Throughout the week I have my moments where the creaking doors threaten to break and spill into my now.
“Not now, later. Just hold tight for later”
I’m trying to manage the gates and control when I’m allowed to grieve. A set time and place where it’s ok to let it all out. Well that’s not healthy, that’s not fair to me and that is not what I tell other people to do. I very much know that one should feel the emotions when they arrive and not to have them wait for you to invite them in. They are called feelings because they are supposed to be felt. Isn’t it funny how we help others and than we don’t allow ourselves the grace to follow the same self-caring advice. I’ve been trying to be more mindful of myself. I put it out in the universe this week that I needed help in order to better help me. Well a few days into the week and I certainly got the message.
A Wednesday, after work and headed to the gym I got the most unbelievable, out of nowhere craving for frozen yogurt. I like it but Clayton was obsessed with it. He would get it all the time and he especially wanted it more when he was sick. My plans were derailed and I turned into the parking lot. I stopped and looked at the place. I haven’t been back since the last time I brought Clayton here. Can I even go in? Am I ready? This is sudden. Should I plan to come back so I’m prepared and I can keep it together? That way I can control the grief.
“You’re going to be ok. Open the door”
The wave of sugared air met me like sweet welcome and my mind filled with memories of Tin’s excitement. What flavors? What candy? What would he fit into that cup this time? I smiled and I asked him “What should we get?” I grabbed a cup and looked up to see a flavor I had not seen there before – pineapple. That’s the one! I filled my cup and noticed that the craving had disappeared. I actually was indifferent to eating. No other flavors necessary. No candy. Something else was up so I paid and I sat down outside.
No one else around and the feeling of lonely drifted in on the breeze. I started to feel sorry for myself. I looked down at the melting swirls and the gates broke wide open. I started to sob. My heart hurt. I couldn’t breathe. The scene for anyone passing by was a sad, 41 year old man, sitting alone on a hot summer day with pineapple frozen yogurt melting and tears streaming down his face. No one would know what I had just experienced. No one would realize that an unplanned trip to a frozen yogurt place would be one of the hardest things someone widowed could ever do. I let it out. I sat with my emotions and I took a deep breath. Then I noticed the craving was back. I suddenly had the realization that my fear stopped my drive to fulfill a need, a craving, self care, personal growth, moving forward? Well I can now see that I might be doing this in other aspects of my life. Bad things happen but I can’t walk through life worrying when they might strike. Fear keeps away the magic in possibilities.
Once I realized the big picture, the overall experience was unbelievably powerful. There’s great beauty in this chaos and sometimes it appears in ways that can only be described as divinely poetic. There’s no way I would have gone in there without that unexplained craving. I have avoided going for over two years. I can’t know for sure the reasons my week unfolded the way it did but I knew I was not accepting some things. I know I hold me back sometimes because of fear. I did outwardly ask for help. So what seems like a simple task to some was a huge step in my emotional journey thanks to a nudge from the universe and a little bit of pineapple frozen yogurt.
I see you Tin…