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.