On Tuesday I broke down crying at work. It started slowly at first, just a few tears almost sweetly streaming down my cheeks, but it didn’t take long until I was sobbing huge drops, black with mascara, staining my face. My face turned blotchy and red. I’m not a pretty crier.
I was interrupted by a co-worker who took one look at me, made sure I was okay, and slowly backed away. I couldn’t help but feel shame even though no one was judging me. In fact, my co-workers have been a great source of support and I look forward to going to work every day. Work has honestly been the best distraction.
I pulled myself together but couldn’t keep hold of it. Eventually I made the choice to leave early. It’s the first time I’ve called in or done that since I was originally off for bereavement.
But I do seem to be having that sort of week. On Monday, before my appointment even began, I stood outside of my therapist’s office crying. I had cried all the way to the appointment. I cried most of my way through the appointment. I even cried while grocery shopping after the appointment. I’m crying a lot.
One of the things making this harder is that I’m mostly keeping my feelings to myself. I feel uncomfortable telling my friends or family I’m feeling sad or having a hard time. I even feel bad that my therapist is still listening to me talk about it. It doesn’t matter that everyone has explicitly told me they want to listen to me talk about my grief; Why should they have to keep hearing about it? I have nothing new to say to explain my grief to them.
I would never judge someone for still experiencing grief only two months after losing someone, but I can’t help but get irritated with myself. I keep feeling like I should have it together, that I shouldn’t have to leave work early or that I should be able to at least save my tears until I’m alone and, if I am going to cry, something tangible should be triggering that reaction. These thoughts and feelings are always colliding and it’s exhausting. I’m exhausted.
So, two months has passed, and it still hurts. I’m still mentally drained. I get through my workday and come home feeling like my brain is mush. I’m still heartbroken. I’m still sad. I continue to ask myself questions I will never get the answers to. It feels like not much has changed.
However, when I truly look inward, I can feel that I’m growing with my grief. This does not mean it hurts any less, but I am slowly moving forward as a person who has been forever changed by this experience. I hope this change is good.
And I hope my dad would be proud.