Grief is like a dark dense inky sea, a tide of misery. And like the tide is slave to the moon, the dark sea breaks in ebbs and flows manipulated by an invisible force.
Some days the sea is calm and non-threatening, just background noise, other days it is raw power, overwhelming, all-consuming. And it takes every fibre and cell of me to keep from drowning.
Something violently shifted in me a few weeks ago, unmooring me in an internal storm that began suddenly and without warning. An invisible puppet master blew tornadoes across the dark sea and wrought earthquakes below the seabed causing the water to move ceaselessly in unpredictable patterns and with a ferocity that is chilling. Now I feel as though I am constantly fighting to keep my head above the water.
The only escape is fitful sleep. But when I wake from dreaming, there are mere seconds of disorientation and then a dark wave crashes mercilessly, brutally, soaking me to the bone, and I am dragged into reality. If I only had to awaken once each day, it would be okay, but as the frost of winter moves in, my body is weakened, and resorts to hibernation so I sleep and waken three times. Each time I feel the cold splash of reality, I splutter through the freezing water, gasping and fighting my way to some semblance of equilibrium.
You see, I am not the best swimmer. But I am strong willed. At the moment, every day is an epic struggle to traverse the inky sea. And yet I doggie paddle, or float, or just barely hang on to the flotsam and jetsam that are tiny broken pieces of my happy memories, and I get through it.
Hope is my lifesaver. I see it in the distance, a tiny speck of light. Sometimes the dark tide drags me too far from hope, and I just have to have faith that it is still there, on a distant shore.
There are moments when it feels as though it would be easier to stop resisting, stop struggling, just let go and sink into the inky darkness. But no matter how tired, no matter how hopeless, I won’t give in.
I refuse to drown.