Grief is like your life was like a beautiful pool until one day a storm came along placing a giant crack through it and releasing a large amount of the water. Now, you are still grateful for the pool you still have left but it will never be the same. You still can sit in your pool, but every now and then without warning a few teaspoons are drained from the pool as a result of the storm.
I sat in the river and felt the water roll over my toes the other day. It was a tiny peaceful moment as I let go of another little human activity with my autoimmune disease. As I felt the mud squish between my toes, memories of my childhood came flooding back. Running with my next door neighbor through the grass, my first bee sting where I figured out I was allergic to bees as my father dumped my entire leg in an ice bucket. The feeling of the different types of grass on the soles of my feet. My cousins and I could never be wrangled down when we were together, there was no need for sunblock or shoes most summers days. We would run outside through the hose, through the yards and sometimes across the Metro parks river rocks laughing and splashing on endless summer days.
I had finally had the chance to go for a tiny hike after the weather subsided enough that I could at least hike a trail on the Clackamas River. My daughter ahead of me took her shoes off following a trail in and out of the water along the river. I happily took mine off also, walking along the river rock happily following behind. Within minutes the rocks became painful on my feet. Most of the rocks were smooth but my type of autoimmune disease targets small joints. I was determined to keep up so I trudged on. Before long my eyes were watering and I stopped for a break, letting the water roll over my toes one last time. It seems silly, but for me it was giving up another tiny thing, like the tiny things I had already given up, sitting in the sun, being in the snow, gardening, etc. I was thankful it wasn’t worse, but it was one more teaspoon out of my pool. A tiny injustice.
I made a quick decision and threw on my expensive tennis shoes and started back through the water. Shoes could be replaced, time with my daughter couldn’t.
Though grief and autoimmune diseases are nothing alike, I keep finding similarities in them when I would think about it. Both of these groups have only found solace in others going through the same thing. The truth being that most people don’t understand until they are unfortunately walking the same path. Both are somewhat lonely and how I imagine my daughter with learning challenges feels sometimes, as if no one understands all the challenges you face unless you also face them.
Later I sat with my youngest watching a movie. It was a cute movie called “A Thousand Words” with Eddie Murphy. At one point he says something along the lines of “I guess you never know if the last time you see someone is going to be the last time you ever see someone” and instantly the image of my beautiful smiling daughter, standing on the steps of her new apartment holding the laundry basket of goodies I had just brought her came to mind, the last time I saw her. It was not that big of a deal, tears don’t really phase any of my family members at this point, and I’ve always supported showing your emotions, but it reminded me how I can’t always be prepared when I am watching a movie, even when looking it up first.
It may seem like a tiny thing, but I am a huge movie buff. As a matter of fact it was something my daughter that passed and I had in common. I now try and see all the movies that her and I would have seen together, even alone, in her honor. We would spontaneously grab a movie whenever we could though sometimes I regretted not reading about it before hand like when sex scenes would pop up. She would laugh at how uncomfortable I would get.
Now though, If a friend ask me to see a movie, I have to look it up, and unfortunately there are many movies I have to give up. Not just movies but entire genres. I cannot sit through desensitized any more, horror, war, crime, it’s just not for me. My grief or PTSD rocks me still to see the devastation. It’s a tiny teaspoon out of my pool. It’s another thing I give up to the storm.
Along those same lines, we also both were avid readers. Both Harry Potter heads, we were sometimes almost competitive with our books. After my daughter passed I took a hiatus from reading for over a year. A unknown side effect of an initial tragedy, is the inability to focus on much of anything. To help with some of that, I started a little book club recently, thankfully most of the people in it are ok if someone decides to pass on a book. We adapt, like wearing shoes in the river.
If you have experienced loss, what is your metaphor?
Grief is like…
Grief is like a catastrophic physical injury ~ Louise
Grief is like riding a roller coaster that never stops without a seatbelt. ~ Kris
Grief is like getting up every day to a job you hate and which you feel completely unskilled for. ~ Louise
Grief is like trying to comprehend what is beyond comprehension. ~Amy
Grief is like a shadow. ~Ann
Grief is like waiting for a bomb to go off. ~ Joni
Grief is like a mixture of recreating an identity and a bittersweet processing of memory. ~Peter
Grief is like trying to sort through the rubble of what’s left of your life after the earthquake of loss has hit. ~ Cathy Lee
Grief is like walking through hip-high mud. ~ Loretta
Grief is like being a walking dead zombie. ~Jackie
Grief is like crazy weather. Sometimes showers and storms pop up when you least expect them. ~LauraJay
Grief is like walking in the dark and feeling your way as you slowly go. ~ Deb
Grief is like a guilty addiction, reminding you of a time when your life was right. ~ Geri
Grief is like a boomerang, it keeps coming back and wounding you anew. ~Susan
Grief is like an image which recalls a bad acid trip. ~ Phyllis
Grief is like being extremely homesick but knowing your home no longer exists. ~ Leesa
Grief is like a constant pain that never goes away and is worsened by “triggers”. ~ Vicki
Grief is like being burned alive. ~ Deborah
Grief is like a landmine. ~ Kevin
Grief is like waking up to a hundred pound monkey on your back. ~ April
Grief is like being in a constant nightmare. ~Kathleen
Grief is like a soaking wet wool blanket over your whole body. ~ Alice
Grief is like having an incurable affliction. ~ Allen
Grief is like being in the middle of a twister that wreaks havoc all around you. ~ Leslie
Grief is like losing a part of yourself. ~ Peter
Grief is like being continuously hit by a tsunami. ~ Teklya
Grief is like being in a chronic state of anxiety. – Frankie
Grief is like being the pinball in a game you never chose to play. ~ Miss Mac
Grief is like sitting on the sidelines. ~ Michelle
Grief is like your insides being munched away by parasites and wanting to vomit but you can’t because you’re empty. ~Kay
Grief is like a bottomless pit. ~ Tara
Grief is like a concussion that lasts for months. ~ Lillian
Grief is like a wound. Over time it heals but it leaves a scar. ~ Theresa
Grief is like waking up every day as a stranger in a foreign land. ~ Elizabeth
: ELEANOR HALEY, https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-metaphors/