Monday, November 30, 2015

#15 Write Your Grief: What I Have Learned

Take a few moments today and look back over the writing you've done in the last two weeks.  Has anything developed or become clear in your writing that you hadn't seen before?  Have you learned anything about yourself, or your grief, or the way things live in you?  Had anything surprised you?  Disappointed you?

I learned very early on in this course that I am not defined by grief, rather grief is a separate thing that I have to learn how to carry.  And while I want to carry it gracefully I also can't let it get the best of me by not being vulnerable in it.

Through this course I uncovered something that I never actually wrote down but something that was holding me back. A. LOT.  It was a reminder that I needed to let go of and I am finally realizing through all the bits and pieces that I have written that it is going to be important for me to let go in order to keep going.  So, I did let go and not because I don't want to remember but because I need to know this "thing" I was holding onto wasn't going to be what kept Charlie's memory alive.

If I start at the beginning, I should tell you I can't keep a watch battery working in my watches.  I love watches and I have many of them, but just something in me makes them stop.  I could (and have) replaced every single battery in my watches at a single time only to have every single one of them stopped within the week.  With that being said, since Charlie died every single watch I own I set to July 17th at 10:30 pm.  They were dead anyway, right?  And the worst part of all of this is that I wear a watch every single day and I look at it a million times a day even though they don't work.  For over a year when I looked at my watch, whichever one I chose that day, I saw 10:30 pm.  The correct time was never visible.  The time that was in its place was painful and I'm realizing it was almost like I was torturing myself by leading myself to believe that I could possibly forget something (anything) about that awful day or about Charlie's short life.  I was sure guilt would take over the grief if I forgot anything so I tried not to let it and this is how I compensated.   

So long story short, I have saved money each month for several months to purchase a new watch.  This past weekend I purchased an apple watch.  It sounds a little over the top I know, and while this is something I really wanted it is also something I have quickly learned that I needed.  This new watch battery won't die and it will always, always show the correct time whether I want it to or not.  I can no longer cause myself pain in this way.  I am free of it.  And no matter what I thought before, I now know that I could never possibly forget my baby.  I could never lose the memories I have of or no stupid watch.   

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