Heartbreak and Bones

Some things you carry around inside you as though they were part of your blood and bones, and when that happens, there's nothing you can do to forget. - The Blue Diary
A few years back I heard someone talking about grief. He spoke about how he needed to make sure he was feeling it and working through it the right way. Of course, my immediate reaction as I'm sure yours is was that there isn't really a wrong way to grieve. Which I still believe.
But I am realizing that there are wrong ways for people to grieve for them. It's hard to explain.
I find that I've been grieving the wrong way. The wrong way for me.
It might work for other people, it might be more comfortable for people that I'm in relationships with for me to grieve this way (or at least I might think it's more comfortable for them) but it's doesn't work for me.

I've been subscribing to a don't ask don't tell policy of grieving. If I just don't look at it, if I just don't feel the grief it will stay away. It's just not true.
Some people believe if you don't open your eyes to sorrow and you don't talk about it, you can pretend it never happened. You can go on about your business and not even notice that a year has gone by, time enough for there to be nothing left except heartbreak and bones. - The Blue Diary
I've been reading this fiction book called The Blue Diary which I've not finished yet, I'm not even half finished with. But it's needling my sense of grieving at every turn of the page.
This idea of shoving it down and pushing it aside so I can continue to tell you that I'm ok. Because I think you really just want me to be ok.

I'm just finding more and more lately that taking the short cut to ok has only left me years later nothing but heartbreak and bones. It's left me feeling relationally and emotionally fragile to the point of completely disintegrating at the slightest wind of betrayal.
I'm finding that the advice I have doled out regularly about how grief doesn't just show up when a human dies, it shows up when a life dies, is true. A life in the form of a human, and animal, a dream, a thought of how it should have been, how it should be and how it could be if only...
You could tell she didn't want to [cry], she was trying with all her might to hold it back, but sometimes it's impossible to do that. I know that from personal experience. You have to turn yourself cold as ice in order to stop yourself, and then if anything falls from your eyes it will only be blue ice crystals, hard and unbreakable as stone. - The Blue Diary
I'm finding that the ice cold feelings I've been using to dampen down the hatches and not publicly talk about grief has not protected me, it has not dispersed the grief or the pain that comes with it. It's only delayed it. Sharpened it. Spread it thickly about my heart. Making it almost painful for me to delve into any sort of healthy relationship, romantic or otherwise (mostly otherwise). I've been mistrusting and suspicious, I've been cold and have pulled sharply away because of disappointments that strike fear in the deepest and more fearful parts of me. Because the thought of it hurts more than I can take some days.
She didn't want to be touched and she didn't want anyone to be kind to her. She was filling herself up with ice, and when a person starts doing that any human contact can be dangerous.  - The Blue Diary
I used to joke about no touching days. Way back when before Jesus and I were hanging out, before I let God out of the closet I stuffed him in. There were days that it was physically painful for me to be in proximity to people for fear they would touch me. For fear they would break through this angry barrier I had placed between myself and anything that I imagined could hurt me.
I would lash out, snarling, if I was touched. Because I was afraid to be touched, I was afraid to be loved and I was afraid to love. A lot of days I couldn't imagine that I even deserved it.

So this seemingly benign book about a fugitive on the run has cracked open this feeling of grief in me. This idea of grieving it appropriately for me. This idea of feeling it, then moving on with this new life. It's inspiring me to move closer to the middle of the road, where before I would only either be obsessively in relationships or not in them at all I'm re-learning how it is to live in relationship.

I'm trying not to leave people behind if I can help it, but I'm also learning that some people I've held onto much longer than is healthy and it is imperative that I leave them.
I'm re-learning that leaving them behind and moving forward on my own doesn't mean they weren't important, it doesn't erase the experiences we had and the ways I grew because of them...it just means journeying through the grief and continuing to live.
We couldn't see them anymore. Their door was closed, and it was just as if they'd never even been standing here with us and we'd been alone the whole time. It's like that when people leave you behind. You get to wondering if you ever had them in the first place. -The Blue Diary

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