Words, Grief, and the Holidays

“If you have not resolved your grief, it will affect your future relationships including the one you have with yourself….It will keep us all in a holding pattern, putting a straitjacket on your love and chaining you to the past instead of moving you forward into the future.”

Kate McGahan, author

I wonder who I am as a writer. 

The words used to pour out effortlessly — a stream running downhill.  For several months I have felt like a pioneer digging for water during the Great Dust Bowl – only of letters and words and sounds and thoughts.  I write to reveal truths, which is perhaps why my words have fallen off the page.  Grief has changed me, so explicitly, so roughly, so…eternally.  I can never return to who I was before Dad died, and while I’ve grown so much over the past year and a half, I still feel like little girl lost.

I sit here, two days after a lackluster but not overtly terrible Christmas and the tears just start – unannounced, unabated.  As if it’s two days after his death and not a year and five months later.  I have known grief like I might know history or literature – I’ve studied it, read books on it.  Now I know it intimately, like a lover.  But it’s a lover I didn’t choose.  It just came to stay one day – the unexpected guest that never leaves.

Or is it more like a kidnapper? 

Drugging me for months on end until I wake up with a memory like a moth-eaten blanket – no recollection of what happened in those weeks and months.  I existed, I worked, I ate, I slept – but where has the time gone?  And what was I doing?  Why is it that I didn’t realize until now – when it is too late – what a great big personality my father had?  And even though he wasn’t able to do things anymore — his body worn out and used up – somehow, just being there, alive, was like an anchor, a ledge from which to fly and be and do the things that needed to be done.  Now I’m adrift and alone in a way that I’ve never felt before and for which there is no respite.  And everything seems pretentious yet clichéd, like old plastic and tinsel decorations.

Grief has made me more introspective, digging in deeper and deeper into my heart and memories and psyche, while at the same time, I have become more closed off – to love, to feeling, to reality.  Only now, today, do I wonder if this is all a reaction to loss. And whether I can ever find the words to live again.

Image copyright 2019 MAG

A member of the Water Street Writers, Mikaela D’Eigh is a writer, poet, gardener, mental wellness advocate, and a lover of Scotch, K-Pop, and KDramas.  She lives out in the country with two Egyptian gods disguised as cats, a herd of cows, and the occasional flock of wild turkeys. Check her out at La Belle Dame Merci, Medium, Facebook, or Instagram for more essays, poetry, and shenanigans.

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