If you have ever walked the road of grief, depression and/or oppression you will understand fully, this particular writing…
My culture and society do not recognize the black veil of mourning (yes our society once did), or the fact that black clothes represent grieving (they use to, but not now). I’ve written about this aspect of life already and will not harp on it further, at least to the degree of reiterating my desire to have my clothes reflective of my sorrow. No, that is not my direction today. My direction today is to give a nod to living life in muted tones.
Muted tones? You ask with a quizzical, half-hearted interest–if even that! Yes muted. Though the black veil of mourning is not covering my face, my soul is wrapped in a dark blanket of grief. This grief mutes the colorful tones of life. And I experience this world, currently, without the glitter and glitz of technicolor.
The translation of my predicament is this: my soul is sheltered thus my vision is fogged, or veiled. It is akin to looking at a beautiful sunset (or sunrise) with colors bursting in multiplicity, clouds accenting the Painter’s canvas with utmost perfection so much so that the breeze takes a reverent pause. And all who are privileged to view the masterful presentation are awestruck by the art of life. And I, alongside the other viewers, am also aware of the beauty, though awe is not mine. For the veil through which I look has slightly muddled the picture.
What is the tangibility of the reported “awe?” The tangibility equates to happiness. Happiness for something, anything. It is a weird place to live, this world of mine without happiness. Oh I do have joyful moments, for my soul has enough experience to not cloud that perspective. But happiness, she has sailed away at the moment. And while she is tarrying, I am somewhat paralyzed. Not in physical movement but in actions of the heart. …I want to shop for holiday gifts, but I get into a store and cannot think beyond the reality of my loss and the ‘whom I’m not shopping for’. I leave the store empty handed, or worse yet, with a purchase that doesn’t make much practical or sentimental sense. I know I have a tradition of baking for our neighbors and friends, but for the life of me I can’t get my soul excited enough to think up a good plan. I want to bless others, but as my mind tries desperately to focus on what that means, I draw a blank. I want to make phone calls, but can’t find my voice. I want to visit with friends, but can’t remember how to converse. I want to be normal–well “normal” was never mine to begin with! 😉
Thankfully my sister was in town for Thanksgiving and she (and her husband) did everything to ensure our holiday tradition was observed. For if left up to me, we would have ended up enjoying a warm bowl of pre-made ramen noodles courtesy a pot of boiling water. I could hardly think one tangible thought past the need to stare into space and not speak one word. Yes, I was surrounded by family whose children are a complete joy to interact with. But the enjoyment of them is experienced through my veil. I have weird and unique miracles all around me, reminding me that our G-d reigns and is watching over us (me). It is just that the lack of happiness scares me a bit. It keeps me muted. And sometimes I worry I won’t recognize an emergency situation because the impact of seeing through my veil disables my reflexes–whether the emergency is physical, emotional, or spiritual.
Even writing is elusive. I have considered writing quite a few times since my previous entry, but when I sit down to express myself the paralyzation sets in and I stare. I am quite boring at this particular stage of grief. How droll am I. To paraphrase Mr. T, “I pity the fool who has to spend time with me!”
Person: How are you? Me: I’m ok, thank you. How are you? Person: Fine. So what’s new? Me: Nothing, and you? Person: How’s your new job? Me: It’s going well, thank you. Person: Do you like San Diego? Me: Yes, but it’s not my home. Me: Well I’m glad you are well. Thank you for checking in, perhaps I’ll see you again soon. Take care.
And then I bolt before the conversation turns to my children, my family, my heart. Which is probably why I am in a place of muted tones. For I am constantly running away from the same wall that keeps appearing before me. I turn and run right…the wall appears. I turn faster to the left and run like hell…the wall appears. I move backwards with grace and ease, running like a pro…the wall appears. I run straight, steady and poised; the wall, the grief, the loss…appears.
I spend minutes in futile wonderment…what is the difference between happiness and joy? Are they synonymous? When the bible speaks of the “joy of the Lord” what does that mean? Does it translate to peace, this ‘joy of the Lord’? If so, I have that–peace that is. Not to be confused with reconciliation. Reconciled to this life I am not. But I do have peace in knowing my reconciled state is irrelevant to the cycle of life, thus in a quasi manner, I live a peaceful life. …futility at its finest (and that is just a glimpse). It is here I see the blessing of my job. For focusing on work keeps me from loosing myself in the wreckage of my thoughts.
I breathe deeply here at the end of a long and sorrow-filled note. I breathe deeply for I am sitting at the wall, its color is gray, though the sunset this evening was magnificent!
Thank you for allowing me this moment of grief sharing.