Hello, how are you doing? It was my mom’s three year death anniversary. I felt a lot of feelings including grief. What a hard day to get through. Just keep breathing, eating, and survive.
My good friend elsewhere expressed sympathy, then asked how I was coping. This friend is very smart and musical, with a vibrant, languagey intelligence somewhat similar to mine. So I can say truths to this friend that I don’t say to anyone else and go into a level of detail that feels special.
Yes, this friend is a long time radical mental healther and an autistic, non-binary, queer genius witch. Hmm, my favorite!
Here are some ways I explained to my friend what I was experiencing with this intense grief on the three year death anniversary of my mom.
what horrible grief can feel like
I had a hard time with temperature regulation–overly hot sometimes, and too cold often. When the sun was shining I tried to go outside and ran back in because the breeze was way too much.
Wearing clothing was sometimes intolerable; I’ve experienced that before. So I was stuck in bed for some hours, unable to dress. (I think this one is stress making the autism sensory sensitivity through the roof.)
I swung from really hungry to really full. I’d try to eat, but maybe I would eat too much? Or the messages from my tummy were extra delayed or just wrong.
I craved high fat foods like vegan cheese, vegan white chocolate, and pistachios. Pistachios are what I had, so I would eat some of those, get distracted, spill the package.
I was extra clumsy and messy, bumping into things more than usual. Cleaning up after myself was too hard. I made some soup and spilled it while dishing it, spilled it at the table, burned my hands trying to carry the bowl, spilled all over the potholders…
I was sad, angry, and sleepy. Everything felt too complicated to accomplish. Just lying in bed staring at the wall was the right amount. That part felt like depression, and I was suddenly overwhelmed with empathy for a friend who was recently KO by what I assume was some hardcore depression. Yikes–I forgot how disabling it can be.
I had trouble trusting my intuition, and being social seemed impossible. I wanted to reach out to people but was overwhelmed in less than two minutes. Seemed clear that no one liked me, including Ming. I would cling on him weepily or ask him to leave. The quiet really helped.
And I had a slight headache off and on, on the right side of my forehead and behind my eye.
what I did
Yes, all that emotion and some dysfunction. Did I mention the crushing realization that nothing is worth it, the creepy hollow feelings, and my head seemed to weigh the wrong amount? Sometimes the gestalt of it felt like drug withdrawal, the intense sick jonesing that is some kind of reward pathway inner torture.
But I managed to make the soup, txt with my aunt and niece, tune my friend’s mandolin and practice. I want to develop the callouses–I have one scale and four chords now: G, C, D, and Em.
Also I managed to sign up for zoom yoga and attend, which was kind to my body but really hard to make myself do. Ming helped me set up my laptop in the living room.
visit wild grief
It’s actually good to visit this wild grief and feel the depth of it. I don’t live in that grief anymore, thank goodness. But it helps me to remember its lessons and soak in it for a while. Yes, my mama is dead. I never have her as a living person again.
The three year death anniversary was terrible to endure, but I can feel the feelings as part of being who I am. No one else can be me. When she was a teenager, my mama formed this unique Laura-Marie being in her womb. Being myself is a way to honor all of my ancestors, but especially her.