It's that time again.
The time when my emotions begin to unravel.
The tightly bound ribbon holding it together begins to fray.
The cycle begins.
I get lost in my mind.
It dawns on me, that in fact I'm not great or okay or even as wonderful as I thought I was.
I lied to myself. Or I tricked myself into thinking I really was moving in the right direction.
Or I am okay and just having a "moment".
How many of those are you allowed in a lifetime?
I've been asked on a number of occasions if I've I felt like I've really grieved.
Or if I'm really ready to let her go.
How do you know?
How do you honestly know that you've grieved enough? How do you know it's safe?
How do you let go? Let go of what exactly?
I've spent days pondering this. I say, even out loud I'm ready to let her go.
But what does that mean? What does that involve?
I do realise I'm in a different place in my heart and my head. I'm adjusting to life again but it's rough. I'm different. I'm new. I'm learning about me. It sounds so cliche! The new me. It's ridiculous but on a more serious note, I'll explain.
I spent a weekend away at a training retreat. It was amazing. I went to study and get my practitioner certificate for bush flower essences.
Anyway I shared a cabin with a complete stranger. Intense for me, the loner. We discussed many things over that weekend and I learnt so much about life after trauma. I'm not just talking about grief and loss. I'm talking about any kind of trauma to a person. How it really changes you. Our experiences were so completely different yet so very similar in the aftermath. At one point we both began with the same sentence. "I just woke up one day and looked in the mirror and didn't recognise the person staring back at me."
Only someone that's lived it knows what that really means. So many people tell me I'm still the same person and it will heal over time. Yeah yeah time does heal. You don't have to be stuck in the dark forever. I'm working on that bit.
But when you look in the mirror and you really have to wonder who you are, what you want, need and love and what happened to you. That's not something you just walk through easily. That's not something that will put itself back together. That takes work. Really hard work.
This same stranger shared stories of love and trauma and of loss. She'd been there and had just barely walked out the other side. Yet here she was 6 years later crying the same tears but without the crippling hold. Without the guilt. She worked hard and processed. She was free from that black hole.
Her words left a lasting imprint in my soul. Something I'd never ever thought of. I was so busy beating myself up with guilt and hurt and pain. I'd never looked at it any other way.
"Your daughter gave up her life for you. She gave up her life so you could walk from this and continue to live, to love and to learn. She gave you her life."