It’s a fine line I’m walking here. But it’s not really a line. It’s more like a zig-zag, helter-skelter pattern that’s got me jumping from spot to spot so I can make it through each day. Today is Day 269. I feel deep sadness each day and I purposely acknowledge deep joy each day. So am I in balance? I know if I were to ask those around me, Am I in balance?–big smirks would hit their faces, sympathy would flash in their eyes. Because those close to me know how badly I am hurting and how my mind is always screeching around corners. And stuttering and pinging, erratic as can be. They know I’m out there. But they just smile at me. And I am comforted by them because they know I am a mess yet they are patient with me. They know I’m working the program, trying to get it. Not just totally wallowing. Trying to live while missing my baby. So how do you do that? When do you reach the point when you feel like you are doing more living and less just biding your time to get through each day, to reach the end of your life? Does the balance just slowly shift toward living, versus clinging to survival? I know there are ups and downs, highs and lows, crashes and then lulls. There is no rational balance in any day, except that I know I “wear my mask” when out and then feel the safest and most joyful when I am at home at night with Nick and Ben and occasional visits from Gina. So that’s one of the ways I’ve learned to balance it. Get home, be yourself, give love, receive love, allow some sadness to be shown, let your grief be acknowledged, talk and laugh, and the balance is tilted toward living. So is that the way it’s going to be for a long, long time? A little bit here to counter that over there? More here, less there? I know that all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and see where they lead me each day, but that leaves me going in circles, or into dark mazes. A lot of crazy out-of-control moments, lots of despairing thoughts, lots of dark time. It bugs me, really scares me, because I can’t fix me. There’s no quick fix and that terrifies me, a fixer, to know I have some control, but so little control, on this path. So I just “do” and maybe that’s all I’m supposed to do. Right? Just do. So am I in balance or totally imbalanced. LOL! Who knows?
I had a dream last night that probably hints at my inner “imbalanced” me, the part I try to keep under control while awake. In the first segment, I was picking up Ben (as a toddler) from the babysitter’s house. As I got there, she was in her van with her young daughter trying to flee before the police arrived at her house. I yanked open the door and jumped in the passenger seat of the van trying to persuade her to tell me where Ben was. Begging her not to leave until she told me. Ben was not at her house, but her driveway was filled with dozens of white garbage bags with mice running rampant from bag to bag. In the next part of my dream I was on a passenger train going through a tunnel under a mountain. Once inside, the train screeched to a halt and we were told to evacuate, leaving everything behind. Ordered to climb an endless staircase, through the cold, dark stone, to safety. I, of course, was desperate to retrieve my luggage (Ben?), but I couldn’t find it in the jumbled heap before me. So I left the train, with nothing in my hands, and started the slow, exhausting climb up into the endless darkness. Yeah, I’m real imbalanced. Only in my dreams……..?????
I think these same thoughts every day. It’s a whole new world; I knew how to live my life with three children, but I do not yet know how to live my life with one of those children gone. I guess it’s baby steps, and patience with ourselves, and the knowledge that we are trying to find the joy again, while carrying the pain of missing our child at the same time. We are now jugglers, aren’t we? For as we experience joy and celebration in the future, we will also be aware that an integral piece of our family puzzle is missing. Joy will be forever tempered with the bittersweet. A different kind of balance …