To me, grief is like a fog. For the past six months, it's been hard to focus, concentrate, see things in front of me. I would listen to my friends and family talk, and I would hear them, but it was like I was underwater. I can hear you, but there is a roar in my ears, a scrim between us. I am trying to listen, I hope you know I'm trying to listen. I did all the normal things, I went to work, I met friends for dinner, I smiled, and the smiles were genuine, but they were labored, under that thick, blankety fog. I've wondered, these past months, what the purpose of this fog is, where it comes from in the brain. It's effect, it seems to me, is to make one feel a bit numb, which makes sense, I guess. I can see why a little emotional anasthetic might be helpful in times like these. "Can people tell that I'm having trouble?" I would ask Nordic Boy. "No, I don't think so. I can't believe you're pulling it off, but you seem ok out there." I went to work, I kept up with people, with things. When I was particularly spaced out, Nordic Boy would catch my eye and just look at me with that lovely groundedness of his and it would help me re-focus. Being a cheerful girl by nature, this sadness felt confusing to me. What do I do here? How do I do this? I was lucky enough to have a dad for my whole life who was truly unconditional, who did nothing for me except love and support me, who gave me the gift of understanding, from how he treated me, what simple, uncomplicated, open, supportive love was. He loved me, and that was all, no qualifiers, no hard parts, no hidden hurts. It sounds stupid, maybe, but I felt frustrated for feeling so sad, for not being able to live in the gratitude of it and feel thankful after he died. I wanted to think "thank you, thank you, thank you for that love," but instead all I could think was "this sucks, this is devastating, how am I going to do this without you?" My attempts to reach through the fog to people in my life have been less successful than I would have wanted, but I'm starting to feel resolved about that. Sometimes we don't get what we need from people and sometimes we do- that's the way life goes and there's no use fighting it. And that doesn't mean we're not loved. That fog is a powerful thing whether you're in it looking out or outside looking in.
When I smile at that Nordic Boy, it feels like a real smile, a joyful smile, a me smile, and there is no fog between us.