It Hit Me Hard from Nowhere Yesterday.
Grief is unpredictable.
Yesterday was a productive, frustrating day. The workday just kept throwing me curveballs. First I missed a page when copying assignments at the printer, leading to confusion for my students. Then everyone needed something during my 5 minute break and I couldn’t get to the bathroom, then someone else was in the bathroom, the assignment didn’t go over well, and that one student is frustrated again and glaring at me. Overall I pulled it all together and resolved I would be more organized the next day. Then I proceeded with my long awaited evening plans, I was going to go roller skating (yay!).
Ahhhh roller skating. The long nostalgic parties of my elementary school days. A remenant from a simplier time in my life, where 9-year-old-me could hang out at the rink, order a “slushy,” some sort of frozen sugar contraction that came in flavors of red and blue, and wobble around on wooden floor trying not to fall as dance music played around. Where I could be with my friends and classmates and feel lost in an ocean of an ever-turning tide of people while disco lights and music surrounded me. As someone with a lot of trauma, I have found healing in moving with others in big groups, bonus if music and dancing is involved. So I started to recapture the nostalgia of my childhood and started skating every Tuesday night.
Drained from the day I jumped into my car at the end of my shift and started the drive home where I would change and leave again for the rink. My mind wandered as I stopped at a stop light and looked at the houses around me. Relaxation was finally starting to set in and I felt a mild calm.
Then it hit me.
His warmth. Suddenly I remember the warm smile of my husband. The pleasant, mild smile that would come accross his face when he would sit next to me. How he seemed so content and at home, just sitting next to me. His face, the familiar smells, colors, and emotions of knowing him, of being with him suddenly flooded my mind. For a minute I began to doubt my current reality. How is it I am separated form him? When did that happen? How is it he is not in my life anymore? Who am I if I am not with him? When did he leave? When did it end.
A feeling of repulsion came over me. I started to choke on both my sadness of him being gone, mixed with repulsion around him and that had happened, juxtaposed with the realization that I had moved on from all this. A shiver took over my body, and suddenly I had to scream. A strange, familiar high-pitched howel left my lungs, coated in tears. The pain had to come out.
I screamed, shivered, and cursed for about 15 minutes. I felt a lonliness for a while, then an empty, dead feeling. Soon I was just tired. That turned into repulsion for him, and I was just angry. Then tired again.
Two hours later I found myself successfully at the roller rink, skating in the usual giant dhnught, listening to the music and relaxing. As I glided around the rink, I let the tears flow, over my cotton covid mask. I just cried, and cried, and cried. The music made me feel better, the throngs of people around me made me feel better, the movement made me feel better. I let it all out.
My mind started wandering to him, is he okay? Is he alive? Should I call him? Experience has taught me to leave this all well alone. This is just the usual bought of grief. It comes and goes and comes and goes, when we least expect it. I have to remind myself, I don’t want to contact him. I can’t go back to him. This is my life now, and truthfully I am happy. I lost my marriage, I lost my husband, and if I try to hold onto it, I will lose something worse, the present.
So I roller-skated the night away, and celebrated the fact that I am alive, I am still here, I lived through all of this, and I’m going to be okay.
Thanks for reading.