In A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis asks "Does grief finally subside into boredom tinged by faint nausea?"
I would tell him, yes, apparently it does.
This? This is the "new normal" that people talk about? Accepting that my life will always be sadder and drearier than it was before?
I remember when I was nervous about becoming a mom because I did not want it to consume my identity. I wanted to be sure I could talk about other things and have other interests and still feel like myself. I didn't know how much having a baby would change me and I didn't want to "lose my edge" (not because I was very edgy, but because there was so little to begin with, I had to guard it carefully). How ironic that instead of losing my identity to motherhood, I think sometimes that I've lost it to grief.
Maybe I'm not proceeding through the steps of grief after all. I'd been hoping to check them off neatly. Do everything expected of a bereaved mother and prove how dedicated I am so that I can magically get my baby back. Therapy? check. (check, check, check, et. al). Support group? check. Books about grief? check. Memoirs about grief? check. Blog. check. Talk. check. Write. check. Read. check. Resume daily activities. check. Pursue other interests. check.
I've known all the while that doing grief "properly" won't bring her back. It still should make me feel better, though, right?
You start to wonder what the point of everything is when "better" still feels so shitty.
* * *
Other times, I feel surprisingly light. My students invited me to join them at Art Hill Friday afternoon, where they planned to create a slip 'n slide out of teflon strips and buckets of water and dish soap. I politely declined, but the thought of it still made me laugh.
I did a handstand on Friday. For the first time ever. In a yoga class. The instructor had to spot me and I couldn't hold the balance for more than a few seconds, but seriously! A handstand! I was high on that all evening. David commented on how happy I seemed.
I cleaned my kitchen last week. Like really cleaned it. I scrubbed all the appliances and vacuumed and steam cleaned behind the refrigerator. My kitchen--it gleams!
I talked to my brother this morning. It was Sunday night in Seoul and he was heading to bed as I was having a lazy morning watching Say Yes to the Dress. Speaking of which, I not-so-secretly hope that he will marry a nice Korean girl some day. Make our family cosmopolitan with an international love affair! The Kansas/Missouri thing that David and I have going doesn't really compare.
I loved reading about the stuff you people are buying. I'm now contemplating slip covers and throw pillows for our awful plaid couches. I just think slip covers might be a real pain in the butt--always needing to be adjusted and probably difficult to vacuum. Maybe we need to bite the bullet and just buy new furniture all together. Now that could probably keep me busy for a while...
So I'm finding distractions. I feel perfectly okay some times. And then there are those other times...
The highs are higher these days, but the lows are still terribly low.
And most of the times in between, I have to agree with C.S. Lewis. It feels a lot like boredom tinged with nausea.