I didn’t sleep much last night. I lay in bed thinking and crying and tossing and turning and thinking some more. My aunt’s health was rapidly declining. In a desperate attempt to clear my head I reached for my phone and this blog to write down my thought.
I’m laying her in bed, in the dark, listening to my husband breathe. I can’t sleep. My heart is too broken. I wish I could cry. I wish I could crack. I want to find my way to vulnerability. I’m sick of I’m okay.
As we, my husband and I, lay in bed tonight reading. He wanted attention. No. Not that kind of attention. He wanted my hand on his chest or to hold my hand. I couldn’t. I wanted to stay on my side of the bed fearing that touch would hurt too much.
He’s grieving too. On a scale of grief (if there is such a thing), his is so much deeper than my own. His dad. My aunt. Today he talked with his dad about what he would want to keep just in case. Today I learned that the hospice nurse has said my aunts vital signs are declining.
It’s too much. And I’m too afraid to go there. I desperately need to let go and be vulnerable. I need it for me and for my husband. I need it so I can support him too. Perhaps that is why I share what should possibly be just a thought, but instead I’ve turned it into a blog post. How do you grieve and still hold it together? How do you prepare yourself to say goodbye to a woman who taught you self acceptance while loving your husband enough to get him through his grief. I’m afraid of cracking.
After I wrote all that down, I did what I have always done when life gets over whelming.
When I was 18 and falling asleep alone and drowning in doubt and sadness, I would lay on my back in the middle of my bed. I would repeat the words Inhale (and inhale) and Exhale (and exhale) over and over again until my mind was freed from thoughts, and I’d slowly fall asleep. I’ve used this practice to survive that period in my life, to get through a divorce, and many other emotion filled events both good and bad. Now that I have a yoga practice, it’s nice to know that Savasana has always been there for me even if I didn’t have a name for it.
Last night I inhaled and exhaled my way into sleep.
I woke up this morning full of sadness. I moved slowly through my morning. I hugged Cole a little tighter as he left for school. As I pulled out of the driveway, I felt the crack happening. All of the emotions and feelings started to spill out. All my sadness attached to my aunt’s cancer fell out of my body tear after tear. Shortly after I got to work, I learned that she passed away this morning. At 8:10 am this morning, Amy left us for something as big as her spirit. She is gone, but the world has just absorbed an energy, a love, a passion so big it can add happiness to the life of everyone. Every extra smile today, the beautiful rainbow my dear friend saw on her commute to work, and all the laughter on our planet today, I know it was her.
I am sad. Selfishly sad for myself and all I have lost. And selflessly heart-broken for her sister, her three boys (ages 8 -18), her mother, my dad, her husband…
I don’t know how to deal with grief. I don’t know how to do this. So I did the only thing I know to do today. I ran a simple trail in my favorite park. I ran fast and hard, and through my feet I tried to leave behind some of my sadness. As my run was coming to end, I had to remind myself to inhale and exhale again. I sat next to a tree, and it hit me. I miss her. I miss my aunt. I don’t think that will ever go away.
Tonight as I tucked my boys into bed, I cried some more. I held them tight. I will show them how she loved the world. There are very few like her. Tonight I can’t put into words what she meant to me. It hurts too much. But she loved me deeply, supported me unconditionally, and she showed me how to love myself.
I miss her. I can’t believe she is gone.