Today has been a roller-coaster of emotion. I want to talk to you about that, actually. I am speaking purely from my own experience, and everyone grieves differently. That said, I am guessing that I’m not the only one who has experienced something like this…
The day is fine, but there are little things. And they add up. And suddenly, in the evening, nothing goes right or you suddenly find yourself crying and aren’t sure why.
What happened today is that I was basically having a good day, but a few little potholes of emotion or frustration or worry or something happened, and I guess I didn’t take time with those feelings as they happened, or, at least not as much as those feelings wanted to be noticed. So they piled up. And that meant that I felt blindsided by the emotions when they took over and I turned into a melty teary mess this evening.
I’ll give you some examples of what happened today, so you can see how they might be inconsequential or minor when individual, but how they could add up.
- I had a chiropractic appointment today, and didn’t drink much water afterward, and regardless of hydration, I’m often much more emotionally sensitive afterward.
- I went to visit Charlie (which was great) and got to read notes people left him in his notebook (which was great) and left him flowers (which was great). The weather even cleared up while I was there! But the ground was still muddy and I had not yet put the tarp in the car to put under the picnic blanket, so I didn’t have anything to sit on, and I hadn’t brought anything to do while visiting him besides just check the garden. So, despite having every other commitment in my day cancel, I didn’t know what to do while there, so I left. And I felt like I should have spent more time with him (should is a horrible word).
- I also ended up getting a call as I was leaving, so I only whispered goodbye instead of telling him properly.
- At a thrift store (where I bought a baby carrier and some baby clothes), the clerk asked if the clothes were for my kid. I didn’t want to lie, so I said my son is not in these sizes, but they’re for a future kid. The clerk focused on that, and didn’t ask how old my son is or anything, which weirded me out.
- Dinner didn’t turn out like I’d hoped.
There were several other things too, but that gives you an idea of the type of emotional detritus I was allowing to build up.
But in general, even when it is not emotion in general like today, grief and its effects do not follow a set schedule or a particular type of trigger. I mean, some things are more likely to bring on intense emotion or sadness, but sometimes it blindsides you. Kind of like a migraine. Some people are more likely to get migraines when they are exposed to flashing lights, or certain foods, but that’s not always going to do it, and also, they can get migraines at other times too.
For instance, I often get weepy when thinking about fawns, since I saw one that was roadkill shortly after my son died. In fact, that’s making me feel sad, just having put this picture here, and thinking about it. But sometimes you encounter something you didn’t know was going to make you sad. And sometimes, you are just sad. Like I was tonight. Little things, but sometimes, no cause, no trigger.
And for me, at least, the best thing you can do? Give me a hug. Or a cup of tea. There is nothing to FIX, nothing to PUT RIGHT, nothing you can MAKE BETTER… but you can show you care. And that means so, so, so much.
So to my friends who chat with me when I’m up late because I can’t sleep, or who see me start to sob in church and scoot closer to me, or send me a note to say they are thinking of me and Charlie on days that have meaning for me…. THANK YOU. With all my heart.
Most sincerely yours,