Sitting My Ass Down into Acceptance


It’s hard to move forward when you keep one foot in yesterday. Or two. Or cling to it like a child clings to her blanket.

I determine to stand, as if my decision could claim the light and calm the crashing waves in my heart. Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of sitting on my ass, then choosing to stand. I’ve been thrown, no… I dove into the Grand Canyon of grief. I’m clawing to climb out. It’s not like the 12-mile hike out of Havasu, a side canyon I once trekked out of with a boyfriend.

Grief is the triathlon of emotions. Swimming a mile is merely the beginning. Yet, I think I must be done—every time. It’s all imaginary and arbitrary: the race, the time, the power, and the control.

Grief isn’t giving in, but it’s letting go and allowing. Oh, how I hate that! I beg, “Coach, put me in!” I want to be in the game, but I’m injured. I want to run and compete, but I can’t even stand. Please, at least let me play!

Injuries often require physical therapy. I’m in grief therapy. No, I don’t have an actual therapist. Although I consider it, I like to save those appointments for when life crashes in on me and I don’t know what to do.

Experienced in grief, I know what to do. Sometimes, I just tire of doing it.

I must practice acceptance. When I hurry, I think, “Ok, I’ve accepted that. I’ve grieved. Now, back to my goals.” Grief smiles, right before she bitch slaps me.

Like an almost healed sprained ankle can do when too much weight is put on it suddenly. Pain shoots straight up to fire off those neurons that scream, Fuck! Ouch! Ouch! Shit! Fuck! Damn! Ouch! My eyes fill with tears of pain, shame and anger. Pain is the signal to sit my ass back down and do some more healing.

It’s easier to deny or pretend I’ve accepted the emotional pain of grief, but like physical pain, pushing oneself too far or too fast has consequences.

So, today I’m back in grief therapy. I cry, write, pray, walk in the woods, and dance in my kitchen with my man who died seven months ago. I learn to accept a little more—the thing I least want to accept: he’s gone.

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