my healing process ((Part IV))

September 3, 2010

It was a very dark and lonely road. Sometimes I would fly into rages of grief or anger and throw dishes or whatever I could find against the kitchen wall and then collapse in desperation and the futility of it all. I like to get a little crazy (like the song says) and take myself on an emotional trip, to really give life to my feelings.

Like last week for instance, I was feeling a strangely heavy kind of grief about finishing my book about John. I knew and felt that the tides were changing and that for my own sake I have to start letting go. I can’t keep looking back. If I want a gloriously happy life for myself (and I do – and so does John) I know that holding on to all that has happened and keeping John frozen or waxed in the past as I once knew him, is not going to be in my best interest. With the completion of the book, it felt like the time was right. Now letting go is not easy. People say “oh you need to let go” or “just surrender,” well yeah…but how? It’s so much easier said then done. It’s a process, and for me it takes work, acknowldgement, and actually doing something about it (like dancing, writing, beaching). I was at a pretty pivotal point. So I went out and bought some freshly made goat cheese, fresh mozzarella, crusty bread, chocolate, and wine from a local and well-loved Italian grocery in Santa Monica. I packed it all up and had myself a nice picnic on the beach. I brought flowers and one of my favorite pictures of John and I sent them off into the ocean. Then I got drunk on wine and cried, laughed, and went  a little crazy while listening to my ipod. I find it’s important to indulge our emotions every once in a while, within reason, and as long as we are safe from causing ourselves or anyone else harm; kind of like throwing a tantrum but not subjecting anyone else to it.

But back to last year ~ after my emotional bouts of rage and grief, I noticed an odd nothing kind of feeling take over me. It was like my brain and body did not have any more juices or capacity to experience those feelings anymore; they were maxed out. So for a few days after my fits I wouldn’t feel any pain. I knew I was still grieving and I knew I should feel pain and sadness, but I couldn’t. It was like being in standby mode. At first I could only be in standby mode for a few days and then the grief would come barreling over me all over again. I would feel it, go back down into hell, and mourn and grieve. Then another standby mode to over and this time it would last longer than the previous one. Then the next wave of grief hit me and was then followed by another standby mode. This continued on until my standby modes became more my norm than the grief.  It was during these periods of being on hold from the grief that I began to grow stronger and feel better. Soon, during the stanby modes I was able to start feeling positive emotions again, and all of the work I had been doing in therapy, my meditative practices, and with a shaman, had the space to really integrate and take effect in my being.

This ebb and flow still continues now, but in very tiny ways. My new way of perceiving and experiencing the world is now my main way of being. And now it’s the significant markers, like the end of the creative process of my book, that any residual grief comes bubbling up to the surface. I imagine this will continue going on until my system has completely purged itself of all the grief, my old beliefs, and my old way of being. It could take months, years, or the rest of my life. Maybe the purging is a return to the innocence within, the origin of it all. This reminds me of a line from John’s suicide letter in which he wrote:

Somehow I have to believe that there is some original innocence within that transcends all.



I know everyone’s grieving and healing process is different; feels different, looks different, and gets resolved in different ways and at different paces. But I hope that some of my experiences might reflect different parts of your journey.

I’m sending support, healing, support, and love for all those reading this in darkness. We are linked together.

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