I honest to god do not understand what goes on inside me. And I don’t know if it’s connected to the depression, or if it’s still a part of the grieving process. Maybe both, but based on past experience with each, I’m going to assume, am assuming, it's more the latter.
I don’t get how I can write a post like a did last Saturday, that is full of strength, hope, perspective, inspiration even, or Wednesday’s post, where the suffering of others obliterates the personal I nearly completely, and then do a swan dive wherein for the past couple of days, I am swallowed up by grief again to the point that this morning, I’m having trouble moving more than about an inch at a time, and the waterworks flow like snow melting in spring.
I forget that grief is like this. That it comes in big waves that pound and rip at the shoreline, storms of varying intensity and longevity, before quieting, before receding back once again into the greater, calmer ocean. Either that or I think that surely it’s been long enough, surely two years of its coming and going should have done it, should have rendered me done, healed, should have put me squarely back into the normal category, flung me back into that greater, calmer sea once again. Though in truth, I have nothing to base this idea on, no idea what is “normal” in my situation, if there even is such a thing, which I doubt, because it is nothing if not intensely personal, one-of-a-kind, unique to each and every person that might be experiencing their own something similar.
All I know is that it’s the holiday season again and I miss my home, and being surrounded by family so much that it's overwhelmingly painful. All I know is that right now Sonora feels like the loneliest place on the planet. I know that night feels way, way longer than day. That I feel isolated and thousands of miles away from where I want to be. That I feel way more alone here that I ever did on Moloka’i, that tiny little island in the middle of a huge ocean, even though in reality I am a mere two hour drive away.
All I know is that once again, I question everything, everything, including how in the world I could have made such a wrong turn that landed me so unhappily isolated… though it hits me that maybe, no matter where I am, it’s just that it’s the holidays… and nowhere, nowhere that isn’t our family home, the space that I know and love, that was filled with each other whether we were physically present or not, will ever be enough.
And it’s not even that I am facing the holidays without them, because I’m not. We’ll be in Washington, the girls and I for Thanksgiving, and the four of us for Christmas. And I am so happy about that. But in the past few days, I’ve realized that for me, anyway, the “holidays” incorporate far more than a couple of days. It is the season, that almost mysterious time between now and New Years, when time seems almost to stand still, when the days darken and the sun can no longer keep us warm, that are filled with a strange quality of longing and anticipation; the holiday season that was, I’m realizing more fully than ever now, my favorite time as a family. The tenderness, the coziness, the security of being together, all hunkered down in our cave, preparing for celebration, listening to Johnny Mathis and Perry Como and John Denver, candles burning, cookies baking; shopping together, decorating the tree together, wrapping presents, mailing cards. That time of year that is day by day, moment by moment, warmest, fuzziest, because of family and home.
It shouldn't surprise me, then, to find myself flattened by grief once again. And yet it does. It's the hardest wave I've had in a while. Old traditions have died and been buried and I am grieving them... again, still, and yet again.