Friday, February 5, 2016

"Okay" can mean many things

Here I am, barreling to two years since Kevin died. For anyone counting, I'm at 96 weeks. Two years ago today he didn't yet have the pain pump. We were in the midst of the second hospital stay. Jesus. Almost two years. How can that be? Just writing that I get teary. And yet I am okay most of the time. All of the time really, when I remind myself that okay now means many different things.

For example, take this morning. I feel kind of crummy. I had a bad migraine yesterday and still feel some lingering effects. My stomach is unsettled, I'm achey and light sensitive. I have a gig today so I need to gather my energy up and get ready to shine. I don't want to. All I want to do is go back to bed and stay there. I want to binge watch some comforting BBC mystery series but I have to get up and get out.

As I was starting to move this morning I was thinking that this feeling was familiar, more familiar than it should be. I had a visceral memory of the weeks right after Kevin's death when I felt this way all the time. Oh. Right. This is grief. This physical ache, the drain, the nausea. All of this is part of what intense grief feels like. Let's see, today is... and that means... Right. Of course I feel like hell. I'm grieving.

And that's okay.

It's not okay that Kevin got pancreatic cancer and died. That will never be okay. What is okay is that I feel shitty about it. I've had enough practice at grieving now, and I've paid enough attention, that I know this feeling will pass. Which is also okay. It's not a betrayal, it's just the way of things. Sometimes I will feel shitty, sometimes I'll feel neutral, sometimes I'll feel happy. All of these states are okay.

It's in realizing that all of this is okay, that grieving him hurts but loving him is better and endures, that everything I'm experiencing is normal and appropriate, it's in all of this that I find peace. Even when I am at my worst, crying and certain the world has ended, I now know that it will pass. I can remember how lucky I am to have had Kevin at all, that I will always love him even as I love others, that I am okay. He would want nothing less, in fact I promised him I would eventually okay. It just looks different now.

Okay now means everything I experience, whereas a year ago it seemed unachievable. I am here. I
 am alive.I laugh and cry.  I love. I grieve. All of this means that I am, still, okay.

(c)2016 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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