Isn’t it funny how temporary our emotions are? And how, when the feeling passes, it’s hard to remember exactly how that emotion felt in the moment?
When I’m pouring words out into my keyboard, the emotion is so real in the present. I’m feeling all of the things I am writing, and it feels so true and perfect. But when I go back and read what I wrote at a later time, it almost seems foreign. Is that really how I felt? Did these words really represent an emotion I was trying to capture?
It’s like when you eat that new food, you know, that REALLY good food that just knocks your socks off. You think about how great that food was for months after, craving just another taste. Then you finally get to have that much-anticipated dish again, and you’re disappointed by it. It’s different from what you remember. It might still be good, but is it as good as that first time? It’s hard to tell after months of imagining.
Grief is the same way. Looking back at some of the pain I felt, I remember it being completely crippling, but I can’t muster that feeling back up even if I tried. It makes it hard to tell if it was ever even real in the first place. But the beautiful part of writing is that I know it was real, and I’m ever-so-grateful that the emotions I put on paper aren’t as intense now as they were then.
That’s what I remind myself when it hurts like it does tonight. At the moment, I’m drowning. I have so much weight on my shoulders I feel like I can’t move. My heart is aching for the things I’ve lost. I put my head down between my knees and try to catch my breath between sobs.
It hurts so bad, I’m convinced that one of these breaths will be my last.
But, it never is. This pain isn’t the end. It passes. It gets better. Just like it has so many times in the past.
I think of the day after my dad died, when me and my siblings laid on the L-shaped couch in the home we grew up in, crying until we ran out of tears and then laughing at the silliest things just to keep each other going. Visitors coming in and out, and eventually we didn’t even get up anymore. We just laid there giggling at each other and ignoring everything happening around us until the pain was bearable enough to stand up and keep moving forward.
I think of the nights after my boyfriend died, where I was sleeping on my neighbor’s couch and begging some greater power to end this pain for me and take my life. Listening to the traffic outside and wondering how life can continue on when it hurts this bad. I never thought I’d get through that… but I’m still here. And I’m grateful that it doesn’t hurt that bad anymore.
The emotions are temporary, and I find comfort in the fact that this feeling will pass. I’ll remember hurting, but it wont feel the same as it did in the moment. Each moment feels as though it is the most painful, vivid, and real moment of your life, until it passes and becomes a memory.
Hold on. I know it hurts. But experience this moment while it is here. I promise you that soon, it will be just another memory, and another moment that you can look back on and say “yeah… I conquered that”.
Time may not heal… but time does alleviate some of the intensity that you are feeling right now. Hang on. I promise you it gets better, and what you’re feeling right now, you won’t even be able to remember when you look back on this.