Thursday, August 22, 2013

Visceral Grief

Something in the air today reminded me of Gideon.

The heat. The humidity. The sunshine. The smells. Even though it is August, the weather seems so much like it did in those days in May surrounding his death and birth.

I am sweating and I can't cool down, like the last days of my pregnancy when I was filled with hormones. Like the days after he was born in this hormone filled body of mourning.

I even went to Target today. I used to go to Target all the time during my pregnancy. Its a different Target but the smells and sights are almost the same. I breathed in the smell of popcorn and pretzels at the snack shop where I got Icees multiple times a week my entire pregnancy. It brought me back to those carefree days. Those innocent days.

I can't put my finger on this sensation. There isn't a word for this. I am not feeling particularly sad. I actually feel joyful and blessed that he is my son, that he is part of my life. That he is with Jesus. However, today my body is reacting as it did in my early days of grief.

Anxiety, sweating, quickly beating heart, fear, nervousness, hands shaking. I breathe in and out with quick, shaky breaths. My skin feels cold and hot all at the same time. It seems that I need to cry, like my eyes want to spill out tears. 

Even my heart feels like the wound is fresh. I can acutely feel the hole that he left when he went to Heaven. The sensation in my heart and body is the same as it was during the moments when I laid on the floor wrapped in his blanket as I physically ached and cried for weeks on end missing our Gideon. My body feels tired and worn out as it did then.

My arms still want to hold him. They sting with pain today. They hurt and seem as empty as they did 2 years ago after they took his body from my arms.

When you love someone so much, they touch your soul. When they leave you, it forever leaves a mark on you. Love this deep will change you. So will grief. Grief has been a companion in my life for the past 27 months. Some days I experience it more deeply than others. Today I feel it in my bones and marrow. My body knows this grief well.

This is visceral grief.

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing." -C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

"This is part of the complexity of grief: A piece of you recognizes it is an extreme state, an altered state, yet a large part of you is entirely subject to its demands."-Meghan O'Rourke


kessi said...

I love you, my friend. I am praying God sends his peace to you and fills your heart with the love that He has for you and that Gideon has for you! <3 <3

Stormy said...

Love you, Kessi!! Thank you so so much. <3

bobbie said...

Oh Stormy, i walked a route with my dog that i had not walked since being pregnant with Erin it had taken me over 4 years, i took in all the beautiful sights of the heathers and sat amongst it all for a while, i felt such happiness that i got to have my little girl but the tears were still there. As you said you cant really explain the sensatation there is no words for it but i understand. Much love to you <3 Gideon <3

Stormy said...

Bobbie, oh my dear, it is so nice to be understood about that sensation which has no word to describe it. I bet it was so bittersweet to walk that route that you walked when you were pregnant with sweet Erin. Happiness and pain mingled together. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. What a beautiful time of remembering your precious girl.

Beth Morey said...

Hugs hugs hugs, sweet mama.