The Swamp of Grief.
I've lived life in the swamps of grief before. It's horrible. It feels like the breathe has been stolen from your lungs. Like no matter how hard you try, you can't get your feet unstuck. There's a mix of sheer panic & hollowness. It's an impossible way to live forever.
So—after some time—you don't. You force yourself to get unstuck. Because the human spirit is resilient. Because it's in our DNA to keep going.
But the thing about that—living life again—is you have to silence your pain somewhat. You can't stare it in the face every day. In order to move forward, you have to block out what could cripple you.
I think this is a normal part of the grieving process, except, for us, it's trickier than that. In order to not get stuck in the swamp, in order to find the happiness in our days of waiting, we've had to almost block out the pain. And it's a horrible cycle, because our pain has a name: it's Joy. We grieve to be with her, but we also have to keep living life out of the reaches of what threatens to draw us back in. And in order to do that, we have to walk away from her in our minds—even though, physically, we are trying to walk toward her.
And then I feel guilty. And then I feel like we should be thinking about her more. And then I think I should be weeping over her, every day.
But I can't.
Sometimes, no matter how strong I try to be, I break. This dance has been going on for close to ten years now, and it's no way to live.
Photo by Kelly Margaret Photography