Grief is Exhausting
I’m so tired. I’m tired of feeling sad. I’m tired of my feet feeling like weights as I walk from place to place. Every morning I look in the mirror and wonder who the broken down older looking woman is staring back at me. Who is she? I don’t recognize her at all.
I’m tired of crying. Tears flow uncontrollably at the simple thought of Erik. Sorrow fills my heart for the man he will never become, for the future he will never have. I mourn every day. It’s exhausting.
It’s tiring trying to get through the day. And if someone asks how I am doing, I fight back the tears and say, “I’m okay,” even if I’m not. I’m tired of faking being okay and I’m tired of complaining about how I feel. I don’t want to burden others with my grief.
I’m tired of getting up every day and getting myself ready. I wonder what the point is. When we die, people go on, life goes on, and the world keeps spinning whether we are here or not. Most days I just don’t want to get out of bed.
I’m tired of looking at pictures of Erik, reading his texts, and listening to his last voice mail to me, knowing that is all I have left of him. Yet, I keep doing this as a way for me to stay connected to him in. I know he is gone, but I feel stuck in my endless search for him.
I’m tired of driving around town as I go about my day and passing familiar locations like the place we last had lunch together, or shopped together, or bought parts for his car together. As I drive by I can see him riding his bike and doing stunts. My heart breaks all over again at each location. I pass the funeral home frequently in my weekly routine. I try to look the other way, to focus on the opposite side of the road, or pretend that it’s not there at all. It’s exhausting trying to remember all the places that make me feel sad and ignore them as I go by.
I’m tired of my mind playing tricks on me. Seeing a tall blonde boy in the store at a distance and for one very brief second I almost call out his name. Or hearing a car come down my street that sounds just like his did and hoping he turns in the driveway once more. Sometimes when I have good news to share. I want to call him and tell him all about it. My hands go to pick up the phone and then I remember he won’t answer. It is raw torture. I have gone grocery shopping and found myself picking out some sweet treat that he loved, almost slapping my own hand away so as not to put it in my cart. My mind takes advantage of those memories and uses them against me. I am so tired of trying to keep track of what is real and what is not.
Grief is not simply being sad at the loss of a loved one. For some, it is this deep ache in our body that no amount of aspirin can soothe. Grief is going about your day and seeing or hearing your person everywhere, reliving memories of him over and over. Grief is debilitating. It is an internal war between your heart and your mind as you try to come to terms with this new reality. I tired of fighting this battle.
People tell me it will get easier with time. Or that I will learn how to manage my grief. I know they mean well. I know they don’t really know what to say to me or how to act around me. Its okay, I get it. Grief is hard for them too. They are missing Erik and trying to comfort me. No one really knows how to make me feel better. Honestly, I don’t know how to make me feel better. There are no words that can soothe my soul, no actions that can change the outcome. He is gone and we are all left behind to pick up the pieces.
I am tired, physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. It’s been almost a year since Erik died. It hurts as much today as it did that first day. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I want to feel normal again. I want to feel like I did before all this happened. I know it’s not really possible. I know I will always carry the pain of losing him with me. I just wish that my heart could heal from grief like we heal from a broken bone, put a cast on it and in eight or ten weeks we are as good as new. But we don’t. There is no repairing my broken heart.
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