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No more. I can’t do it. I need to celebrate or grieve on my own. Stay in my body. Feel my feelings. Grieve clean.

Going to these things where there’s others from the group of people I was born unto, makes me freeze, become rigid, as if I cannot even move. I don’t remember a wedding when I relaxed and enjoyed it. My body takes a hit. My body cannot do it anymore. Repeated bursts of cortisol over time due to excessive anxiety has taken its toll.

I don’t know the name of what I have and don’t want to know. Not yet. If or when I do, I probably will have bottles of medicine to feel obliged to take. As long as my legs keep working, I’ll keep going. But I cannot overdo. When I do, which doesn’t take much, my legs stop working, give out, become weak, and I require rest. It’s much better to pace myself. Do my bits around the house, and five easy meadow laps. Then I’ve had it.

My biggest concern seems to be, “What will others think.” Or, “Who will come for me if I lose a child or husband?” But I don’t think it works like that. People have a right to grieve how they need to. 

I know I cannot take it. Not my mind, my emotions or my body. Another young person has died, a nephew. A niece two years ago. That I went to. I cannot do it again. Samuel went without me. I wondered as I meandered the meadow, “Am I being selfish?”

I know the answer. Self-caring, not selfish. I care. I cry. Yet I cannot face a church full of people coming out of my solitary life into a swarm of black. I lose the grief, and become a mass of confusion and pain. Grief over a life that could have been. I want to grieve clean, just for the mother who lost her son. The young wife. The two brothers.

So I walk the meadow and let the tears fall. Again. As they have all week. I grieve fully on my own, my own way. I don’t feel guilt. I know my limits, understand them, and give myself space and as much peace as possible, because excessive stress on an already comprised system causes more damage.

Samuel returns and says the church was full of people and I know I’ve done the right thing for me, for the first time. 


  1. Sending you safe hug if you don’t mind. It’s so good to hear your self care has been put in place by you for you! I know how guilty it can make us feel

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This really resonated with me. We have a ton of conflicting emotions when we finally make that decisive step across an unwritten line in the sand. We know we are making the right choice, but it also feels so very wrong, in so many ways. We have to hold fast to knowing that every choice we make has to be one that helps us stay as healthy as possible, in whatever way fits our current situation. We have become experts at knowing how to survive, so we have to trust our choices.

    I missed the graduation of both of my grandchildren. The baby shower for my grand-daughter. All events where my heart was with them, but my body was at home, protecting myself from the onslaught of stress and anxiety that comes from participating in such family gatherings. There are still days I call myself a coward, or selfish, but most of the days I am able to put my head on the pillow and know that I made the right choice. Either way, I made a choice. One that I live with.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Yes, you are really doing the right thing. There are so many ways to grieve or to celebrate. If it is someone you care about, you can send a personal letter in place of your presence at an event that will make you sick. Or you can walk your beautiful meadow and keep it very private. The loveliest thing is that you have come to know and respect yourself.

    I’m very sorry for the loss of your nephew.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t attended a wedding or a funeral in years. The last funeral I attended was one of my dearest friends. I gave the eulogy. I wish I could have done more. I’m not sorry I’ve missed the rest. It’s been a relief.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You put yourself first and that shows deep self-love. You didn’t have choice then but you are using your power and voice now and the people who really matter will understand. Your grief is no less heartfelt just because you didn’t attend the service.

    Liked by 1 person

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