When a Gorilla rocks your world
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.
– Benjamin Disraeli
After Chris died I struggled to find a way for me to “be”-
I failed the “me” is no longer the “me” . I met with my personal Gorilla of Grief
and he is with me still
I have learned- learned how to traverse the mine fields of grief, learned how to exist, learned , like one who is blind, to navigate through , learned when to rest , when to fight. The gorilla has been “trained” over these many months , I know how to find respite , to hide in the smiles and games of my grandchildren as I feel his presence- knowing if I let my guard down he will attack with a pent-up ferocity which will cripple me . He is dangerous- he waits.
And he can find you – no matter how well you think you have him under control. You realize he has sapped your strength and there is very little left to deal with the illnesses and life issues that befall those of us who continue to age. We age differently too- another of his gifts- there is a greyness – an aging process that accelerates – he causes the body’s defenses to be spread too thin. You realize you cannot keep this voracious animal at bay without there being a cost. The cost is not only emotional it is physical. You see the ravages on the face of your husband , the marks of the struggle etched there for those that remember the time before the gorilla. Your face no longer recognizable to you when you deign to look in the mirror.
In order to add strength you find you can and have to delete- yes! delete from your life those people and situations that also sap your strength. You can no longer afford the luxury of tolerance, patience and those people and situations that take or are superfluous to your well-being. There is something freeing in realizing you don’t have to anymore. They will not help you control and cage the gorilla. You also learn truth and transparency is not what people really want , they want such things yes- but in small doses, metered out- not all at once. You gather strength to “be” by not expending wasted energy.
And then you find yourself sitting in the parking lot waiting for a loved one to run an errand- a song comes on the car radio, you aren’t quick enough to turn it off, the damage is done and “We will rock you”
takes you back instantly to a soccer field at a Lorain Catholic High School ( also now dead) when life was happy and where no gorillas just camaraderie fun and hope. Too late- the gorilla is free, he tears at your gut, your breathing stops , tears flow so fast and get trapped between the rim of your sun glasses and cheeks , blinding you , your hands clench, nails driving into your palms hoping to stop this vicious beast – but he is too strong, memories fill your mind, crashing in upon each other and finally the wracking sobs explode once more. Time has been negated and you are back in a hospital room locked into the worst moments of your life – once more – The gorilla is free to do what he will ……
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Chris Ritchey, death, grief, Love, Mothers. Tags: Benjamin Disraeli After Chris, Christopher D. Ritchey, christopher ritchey lorain, death, Gorilla of Grief, grief, lorain catholic high school, Love, mothers and sons, obscenity of cancer.