I hear things like, “Grief is love,” and “grief is an expression of love.” To me, it’s a fucking suffocating weighted blanket cloaking me in a lifetime of sorrow. You will likely not read that in many books on grief. I am currently in grief therapy, and practiced EMDR. It helps and works to the extent that I get up every day. A feat that I didn’t know was possible before I started.
I took a walk yesterday at Lakeview. I like to visit Jacob and walk with Phoebe around the grounds. It brings me a sense of peace to exercise in Jacob’s physical presence. As I pulled into Lot 32, the sun hit the snow perfectly, creating an almost blinding glow of warmth and peace. Suddenly, I realized something. For the first time since Jacob was laid to rest, I could not get to him. The snow was nearly three feet with plowing at the edge of grass and roadway. I’ve had dreams that Jacob and Ana are sick and I’m trying to reach them. This time, part of it was true. I had physical barriers between Jacob and me.
I decide to walk with resignation that at least we were close. As I headed back, panic set. I felt as if I were at the sea’s edge and drifting further away from land. The morning temperatures hovered in the low teens. With aching knees and nowhere to sit, I started to hyperventilate. Slow. Down. Brandt. You can do it. I closed my eyes, with frozen tears stuck to my face, and channeled Jacob. My car was in sight, and I made it back safely.
Now, I wasn’t in real danger. I was only a few hundred feet away and I could have sat down in the snow for a moment. I used to suffer from panic attacks. This was the first time, in years, when I felt almost completely without power. I was triggered by 50 feet snow halting my pathway to Jacob’s grave. It put me into a tailspin.
Last night, I saw videos Ana and Jacob with their cousins. Innocent kids, laughing and playing. Tay Tay was playing with her favorite doll. Jacob was jumping and playing without knowledge that 18 years later he’d draw last breath. I heed back to my grief tactics. Breathe. Don’t let this trigger you, Brandt. I grieve because I love him so deeply. In times like this, I struggle with my “training.” Grief is paralyzing. It stops everything in its tracks.
There is no great answer today. I need to release this burden of sorrow, so it doesn’t consume me. I am sober today. I am exercising today. I am working today. This is going to have to be enough to sustain me through this suffocating shit-show. I am grateful, however. I am grateful for friendships. I am grateful for family. I am grateful for Naomi and Ana. I am grateful for Jacob. I am grateful for my friend who called me today and just talked about anything but sorrow and sadness.
Triggers circumnavigate my head consistently and constantly. How do I let them affect me? I wish I knew.