Today I am not going to write about food. Today I need to use this space just to write.
This summer I attended an 8-week suicide survivor support group. At the end of the group the facilitator gave each of us a little gift bag of things to help us honor and remember our loved ones as we continue to try to understand what it means to live without them. I brought it home, set it on the floor, and kind of forgot about it.
In a recent brief, but somewhat effective, cleaning spree I re-disovered the bag and opened it. Inside was one of those fridge magnets bearing an insightful quotation. Most of the time I think those things are glib and oversimplify life and the struggles contained in it. But this one made me stop and think. In fact I taped it in the middle of my bathroom mirror so that every morning and night I have to look at it and read it and think about what it means and ask myself if this is something I will accomplish and how I will do it.
"Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with grace, love, and gratitude."
There is something about it that I don't quite understand and so I read it over and over and the thought that lingers is: I don't want happiness to be only a spiritual experience. I want it to be a human experience. I want it to be tangible.
My life does not feel happy right now.
There is a woman from the drop in support group that I attend who always attaches a quote to the end of her emails. One day the quote said something about how life without our loved ones is like thirst, the longer it goes on the harder it gets. It was more eloquent than that but you get the idea. Of everything I've heard and read and thought in the last 10 months that statement rings the most true. People who are lucky enough to be on the outside of this looking in seem to think that it should be getting easier. Afterall, why shouldn't it be? It's been 10 months. That ought to be enough time to get over losing the person you've known and loved for your entire life, who knew you better than anyone else in the world, who made everything "right".
There are days I feel like I am drowning. If I get one more phone call from someone trying to sell me something, or if I have to sign one more paper for the bank, or if I see one more gray haired lady in the grocery store and for a split second think it's my mom I think I will implode. There are times I wish I could just cry and yell at them and tell them how they have no idea what my life is like and what I have been through and that I am doing the best I can and would they just leave me alone?! I want them to understand that the truth is losing my mom IS like thirst. The longer she is gone the more I want her back. The more I miss her. The more I feel like this can't possibly have happened and it has to be over soon. That the healing that happens in 10 months is the equivalent of trying to use one of those little round band-aids to stop the bleeding from a gaping wound.
I am trying to live my new life with grace and love and gratitude, but right now I feel so very far away from happiness.