I bought a book that’s supposed to help me heal. It’s called the May We All Heal Playbook, and it’s full of writing prompts and calming drawings to color.
The very first prompt is “Where and how I am now.” I had to put into words on one page how I feel. It’s hard to pin down and put in just one answer, because days are different – there are good-ish days and bad days. I did the best I could, though.
Here’s what I wrote:
I am swept along the river or grief by the strong currents. They pull me under and drag me along the rocks, scraping my knees and bloodying my feet as I try to stop myself. There are shallows where I can almost stand, but the raging river keeps knocking me down. Loved ones reach for me from the shore, but they’re only able to grab my hand for a brief moment before I’m swept away again.
The river is both love and grief, and it is immense and powerful. I am trying to learn to lie back and float, but I keep panicking.
Who am I? I am a changed woman. I may look the same, but inside, my soul is different. How is it different? I struggle to figure that out. I feel…
A shell of my former self…
But I want to let love win.
There’s hope, Jonah…I’m dealing with a lot of heavy stuff here, but there’s hope. I understand now that my grief for you is vast, only because my love for you is unconditional and unending. You may be gone, but my love for you will never diminish. As long as I love you, I will grieve for you. The two cannot be separated. Grief is love, love is grief. In my darkest times, I will remember this…I will remember that my love for you is equally as intense as my grief, and let myself feel that love. Eventually, I’ll be able to focus on the love part of my feelings, and I will smile more often than I cry.
I will let love win.