I wrote this piece last fall but am feeling it today….
Sinking in quicksand.
Barely keeping my head above ground.
It takes every ounce of energy not to give up and give in and allow my entire being to be sucked down into the suffocating depths.
And yet life goes on all around me and no one seems to notice my peril.
Voiceless screams emanate from the deep recesses of my soul,
“Can’t you see I’m dying??!!”
But no one hears.
It’s always there –
the constant stabbing pain in my heart exaggerated with each breath.
And most days I can continue to function, or at least pretend to.
But not on the quicksand days.
Simple tasks become impossible.
Take a shower?
I can’t, I’m buried in quicksand and can’t get out.
Send an email?
I would, but I can’t feel my arms or legs.
Make small talk to friends and acquaintances?
The choking sand compresses so tightly around my lungs and chest I open up my mouth and nothing comes out.
Words and thoughts are jumbled in my brain and I can’t make sense of anything.
The worst part
is not knowing how long I will be here
Or how I even got here in the first place.
I brace myself with expectancy
for the familiar triggers –
March 1 – the date she left us
June 21 – the date I took her to the ER and our lives were changed forever.
But this one caught me unaware
I am crippled by its relentless, debilitating grasp.
I sift through memories,
wondering what my body is remembering
that my mind is not.
Perhaps it’s the temperature of the air
or the position of the sun,
just like that cool September evening
when Claire looked at me with horror in her eyes,
asking, “what is this lump?”
even though we both knew deep down
the evil rhabdo beast had returned.
Or the crisp October morning
I received the unexpected news
that tumors were also growing
in my body.
And then there’s back to school…
Claire should be starting her second year of college.
Ben should be returning to become a diesel mechanic.
Instead their ashes keep us company
As we hear stories of sobbing parents moving their kids into dorm rooms,
anticipating painful separation…
Until Thanksgiving or Christmas, I suppose.
So here I sit
Two and a half years
Into this thing called grief.
Paralyzed once again.
Rage comes out sideways.
I feel resentment and disdain towards a young family
Who block my running path
As their photographer captures images
Of their carefree existence.
I realize I am not really angry with them,
But rather with the fact that I will never
Be afforded the luxury of taking more pictures
Of my child
Or the grandchildren who will never be.
The pain overwhelms me
And no one knows
What a great feat I am accomplishing
By merely continuing to put one foot in front of the other.
3 thoughts on “Quicksand”
Amazing assessment of how grief sticks you in
I know you have loved ones there to be there for you and quicksand is the toughest place to be. No one can move it along for you and all of it seems so unfair to me. I’m so sorry you are feeling this awful, dreadful, sludge of despair or whatever feelings are attached. Thanks again for sharing from the depths of your soul. Dorothy
Dear Jane: I lost my 14 year old daughter last August, 2014. This description of grief is so unbelievably accurate. Almost line to line I feel these same emotions…fucking grief.
Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter.