My Grief Stew

Today I played hooky from church.  I wanted to be alone, alone in my grief.  Anonymous actually.  I went to Chapters and sat amongst  a throng of people and was totally alone and anonymous.  For a long time I’ve aired my grief like dirty laundry hanging out to dry.  Every last piece of laundry scrubbed over and over attempting to somehow make it cleaner, nicer smelling.  Well, I found out that airing our grief in all it’s detail gets you nowhere.  At least it got me nowhere.  No, I must clarify – it did get me somewhere – right in the middle of getting very hurt.  So hurt, I have basically shut down.  And I cannot make sense of it.  I have no way to resolve it and I am left to wonder what in the world just happened.  Since I have no way of logically understanding the other person’s viewpoint I must conclude that I am at fault.  And that has turned my world as I know it upside down.  I must not be who I thought I was.  I thought I was a decent person, a kind person, a loving person.  But through my own fears I have turned into a monster, someone to deny that they exist, someone to totally reject.  I look in the mirror and I do not know who I am now.  I do not see who I thought I was, I see a monster.

So on top of the grief of dealing with my dear mother,  I now have another thick layer of grief to contend with. ( and just to make matters more desperate – I now have 2 family members with cancer and a couple friends with possible debilitating conditions.  My friends and family I have grown to count on in my time of desperate need or family that I wanted more than anything to reach out to after years of little contact are in their own twilight zone of grief and heartache.  I am left to wrestle with my grief mostly on my own now.  Promises to be there for me thrown aside amidst their own life struggles and upheavals.

Like the layers of an onion being peeled back one by one I cry and wail and carry on in the privacy of my basement – alone.  From now on, my grief must be expressed alone.  The onion is continually sliced with a very sharp, piercing knife that cuts to the heart of my soul.  The knife continues to cut….chop, chop, chop…   till the onion is in a thousand pieces and thrown into a giant stew – a grief stew.  My life is that stew with all the chunks of onion floating around.  At unexpected moments I bite down on a chunk of onion and the strong taste makes my eyes sting and tears roll down my face.  I never know when I will hit a piece of onion in this stew.  And it is a stew for good reason because I am stewing about all this – my autistic mind perseverates and ruminates on each bite and I can’t get the taste out of my mouth or my heart.  I have a beef with the world.  My world.  I hold no bitter feelings towards others – I have a beef with myself.  How dare I should trust my feelings with someone else.  How dare I should trust that what someone says is true.  How dare I should trust that I am worth being a friend.  How dare I,  how dare I……   I am nothing but a fraud,  a reflection – not the real thing.  Coke – it’s the real thing.  I’m a bloke – a fake, a joke.  I grieve now even for myself.  For what I thought I was and apparently am no longer.  I grieve the loss of who I was.  The peas (peace) in the stew is cruelly missing as my world is stirred up to a frenzy and my grief splashes out all over the place, hitting others and burning them, and just making everything very very messy.    Grief stew.  This may seem corny to you – and yes there is corn in the stew because it is corny – a cruel joke.  But I am not laughing.  My laughter is gone like the steam rising off the stew.  It disappears into the air, invisible, non-existant.  Grief stew.  The food I am living on right now.  And I eat it alone choking on every bite.

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