Walking yesterday, I felt gravity pulling my shoes down. It flowed through my body and I could feel the heavy weight of it. An invisible force always tugging towards the center of the earth, and it was in my feet. Every step heavier than the previous one. Every upward movement a battle. To lift my leaden hands required an overwhelming amount of energy. To keep moving forward was exhausting. The weight wanted me to draw close to the earth, to lay upon the dirt and to let the force pin me down.
Gravity is with us all, but yesterday it visited me and urged me not to fight, but to surrender. The desire to curl into a ball under the covers was strong. The pull of my body towards the earth through my feet was tangible. The effort to lift my head, to look up, was unfruitful. Too much gravity for one day. Too much weight. On this spinning globe where I live, the movement caused nausea. The plea for a pause was on my lips. Just a moment. Can I have just a moment? But the world kept turning and gravity pulled harder still.
Leaving behind a job that brought me so much life was beyond hard but, I packed my car. Driving away from my friends, my eyes filled with tears. My time abroad cut off. My heart broken. Gravity has pulled the carpet out from under me and I am falling. I have no landing place to this point. Just a free fall through space, waiting for the thump when I finally hit the ground.
From there to the weight of decisions to be made regarding Mom’s care. A conversation which required tears to make it through. Hearts breaking with sorrow which has no place to go. The tears rolled down; gravity at work.
The caregiving work for Ray has ended after years upon years. There is a black hole in my heart where everything is swallowed up. Sucked down by gravity. Empty space that was full just days ago. Now I continue caregiving the caregiver, who finds himself so very tired. Disconnected from his emotions and trying to sort them out. Suddenly, broken hearted with no outlet. Change is a stressor like no other in our household. The weight of gravity is real to a brain that is fogged up normally, but more so with grief. The slow days require patience, compassion, and a gentle urging to participate in life.
And then there is the pandemic. The racism. A civil war of words. All of it is just too much. Heaviness from within. Heaviness from without. A giant mass that holds me to the ground. Pressure from all sides it feels. I hear pressure creates diamonds. Gravity obliges in their formation by providing the weight needed. Maybe someday I will be a diamond, but that day was not yesterday, and today isn’t looking good either. Today, the gravity of grieving is having its say and I am listening. Letting it pull me down to a place I can curl up and rest. To ignore gravity is to invite pain, and to embrace it is to guarantee suffering. A season of pain eventually leads to a season of growth. I hold onto that hope, even as gravity sinks me.
(I know this is raw, but it is also real. I am taking care of myself by resting and pulling into the quiet, so no worries. I know this place and what it takes to get through it, I promise.)