Waves keep crashing all around me, I get knocked down and just when I think I’m on my feet again, here comes another wave.
I‘m in a pit of quick sand, struggling to get out, but just pushing myself further down.
It’s like a hot, humid summer day, the sun is out and then the next minute showers and storms pop up.
It is the wound that doesn’t heal, but just scars over.
I feel like I’m at the bottom of a ball pit, stuck forever.
One of those nasty germ-filled, slightly smells like urine, ball pits from the 80s and 90s that gave better immunity than most.
Somehow, when Johnathan died, I was pushed down to the bottom of the pit and now I can’t find my way to the top.
I can still breathe, but it’s harder and scarier.
I can still move, but it takes more effort.
I can still hear everyone around me, but it feels like they can’t seem to find me down here at the bottom.
Every ball that hits me feels like one more problem that I have to carry.
At first, it felt like I just had a few balls to move. I could see some light at the surface and I knew it would take work, but if I kept pushing and trying to get to the surface, I would be ok. But more balls keep falling on me.
As everyone else’s life has continued moving forward, stressors that don’t even have to do with my grief and loss of Johnathan are falling in on me now, too.
World pandemics. Foreign unrest. Work days packed with donning and doffing all the time.
I’m tired. But someone keeps throwing those balls down on top of me. I want to just lay down at the bottom and stop trying to even get to the surface. I won’t die down here, but nobody’s going to find me.
Who’s going to come looking in a dirty, smelly ball pit?
I’m so disoriented these days that I’m not even sure where the surface is anymore. I could be moving and pushing an entire day only to find out that I went in the wrong direction.
Sometimes I just stay still knowing that it won’t make a difference if I try.
The waves will keep crashing.
The quicksand will suck me down.
The next storm is coming.
The scars will never heal.
And I’m never leaving this ball pit.
The metaphors for grief are infinite, yet no one can truly give you one real definition of losing a child that would universally make sense to anyone unless you’ve been there. I regularly hear parents say “I couldn’t imagine”. And I used to say “don’t even talk about it, it’ll never happen”.
But then it did. And now I spend my days trying to come up with ways to describe how I’m feeling. The words don’t truly exist, that’s why we are forced to use metaphors.
I’m empty, weak, tired, unbalanced, lost, hurt.
It’s waves and quicksand and storms and scars… at the bottom of a stinky ball pit.