a multitude of tenses

Grief doesn’t exist in a singular moment.

It exists in a multitude of tenses.

It is at once in the now, where you know all that you know, that you never wanted to know.

It is in the before, where you naively trusted in the surety of what you had.

And it is in the crushing devastation of the moment of loss. The implosion. The unravelling. The everything that followed.

It is also in the spirals of other timelines. The endless possibilities. What would have, could have, should have been. If only.

All of that exists at once. In a moment. Where I am now. Thinking of Mike, forever 35 on what is coming up to what would have been his 38th birthday.

It doesn’t get easier. I just learn to live with it. Like moss covering an old plane that crashed in the forest. Or barnacles on a ship wreck. Life grows around it. It is part of my foundation.

how to be: what helped when nothing helps. (part two)

Part two of this post. Again, it’s not a checklist, but a list of offerings. Funnily enough, I wrote 95% of this post when I wrote part one. And yet it took over two months to come back and finish it. I was jolted to action after sharing some tips with a good friend (hi) and remembered I had written this whole thing. It’s good to share.

Self-care 102 – cozy self-care. Soft cozy blankets. Nice smelling candles. Incense sticks. Hand cream. Face masks. New socks. A cute toy. Some nice tea. The fancy cookies. Any small nice thing. Treat yourself or allow others to treat you. I have been very lucky and received a lot of thoughtful care packages over the last 2 years. And I haven’t hesitated to buy myself a fancy candle here and there. Now is the time.

Mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness and grounding yourself in the present moment can be really helpful. It’s hard because it doesn’t necessarily give an immediate payoff, but doing a little bit when I can has definitely helped me. I try and remind myself at various points throughout the day, particularly in moments of panic or overwhelm, but also in calm too. Finding stillness. Putting one hand on my belly and the other across my heart. Feeling the chair underneath my butt. Placing my hands on my thighs. Sipping something slowly and with intention. Feeling each step as I walk. Noticing the breath. Being in my body and becoming aware of sensations: temperatures, pressure, heaviness, tightness, numbness. Allowing whatever emotion I’ve been holding onto or resisting just to be. Feeling my feelings even though our culture deems them “negative” is the ultimate act of rebellion.  Noticing it. Naming it. Allowing it all to be.

Continue reading