Yesterday marked a year and a half since Jeff passed. It was an unseasonably hot Friday to top off my absolute shit show of a week at work. On top of that, I was in the midst of some hot family drama so, the day flew by. I had a moment while at the gym getting ready to do leg presses when the anniversary hit me. But, rather than getting overwhelmed with emotions, I cranked out pressing my body weight.
If I told myself even a year ago, that this would be my reaction I would have been appalled and disgusted with myself. To me, being overwhelmed with emotion equated to love. And don't get me wrong, in the beginning, it was. But as time has passed, and I have come to terms with it, I have grown around my grief. Even allowing myself to have moments of joy which before, would have felt like a betrayal.
When I was so deep in my grief, I used to could every single day. And marking Thursday mornings by falling apart at 8:17 am (our last text), followed by 8:54 am (when the accident happened), and 2:15 pm (when the sheriffs knocked on my door). These times would be these ingrained moments of deep emotions that I thought I would never get out of.
In those early days/weeks/months, the act of my being alive felt like a betrayal to Jeff. It impacted every aspect of my life. The fact that I could eat food and he now couldn't led me to subconsciously develop an eating disorder during this time. I felt like if I had any joy at all, I clearly didn't love him.
Part of this thought process is very much the societal pressure and expectation of what grief looks like. If you are too sad then you are "stuck" in your grief, but if you're showing even the slightest inkling of joy, then you clearly don't care about them. It's a truly fucked up and judgemental narrative and causes more pain than needed.
I would (and still do) find myself being supercritical and judgemental of the things I am doing, and the fact that I am slowly starting to find joy and purpose in life again. I was gifted with a bunch of solo travel over the past couple of months and that was not only scary and painful but it helped me to grow so much as a person. It helped me to find some peace and joy in my life; because after all, what's the point of being alive if you can't have some joy?
In this limbo period when the daily tears are subsiding and you are letting happiness in, it's an awkward growing phase. There's grief that you're growing out of the intense cocoon of early grief, and anxious for what's to come in the future.
Grief is weird as fuck.