I remember someone once telling me that as a parent to young, dependent children you may find you don’t get to grieve properly. At the time Mumbo had recently died and I definitely felt like I was ‘grieving’: I was sad. But I didn’t really have any other choice other than to continue with life; if I didn’t, the lives of others would have been severely impacted.
It was only 6 months later, I realised I hadn’t grieved at all. All the suppressed emotions of grief suddenly became too big to ignore and only by removing myself from daily life for 24 hours to a quiet, white hotel room, was I able to allow myself to be aware of the emotions and address them. Only by being alone could I then have the courage and the peace to see them, feel them fully and then let them go thereby, freeing my mind, my body and soul to continue to care for others.
Taking myself and the boys to Africa, distancing myself from the daily routines and habits. But this time it feels the other way round, I have felt free first. The distance and space has meant I have been fearless and free to be me, to find my joy and sparkle. And by doing so, I feel it is part of the healing and grieving process for a lost first marriage, a best friend turned stranger and a soul mate unveiled as a deceiver.
This is just reality. Real life. Out here, I feel I have removed myself from pity and shame and sadness. Here, the story is just fact and acceptance of facts. Here, I can detach myself from any outcome, focus on how I feel, want to feel and now I have complete certainty everything will work out ok; either way; any way.
And even in paradise, we have to deal with real life and any healing or grieving, fearless living is hit by a pause button, and parental duties are resumed.
The quote on my calm app today said,
“When we scratch the wound and give into our addictions we do not allow the wound to heal.”
Back home, I was addicted to finding out facts, understanding timelines, emotional outburst triggered by parallels… so this spoke to me. Stop scratching the itch, especially as the wound heals, when the urge is magnified and the addiction escalates.
However, in reality it was a sign for something far more simple.
At lunchtime, Tom mentioned his hand and wrist hurt and when I looked his hand was more paw-like, swollen, red and hot. He had failed to tell us he had been bitten the day before and had spent 12 hours scratching it.
A trip to a pharmacy for some anti histamine had us directed to the doctor with suspected cellulitis. 3 hours later, the redness and swelling worsening, the diagnosis was confirmed and strong course of antibiotics prescribed and more bandages for Tom, now also known now as ‘hopping lobster’ for his 2 fat hands and burnt back, coupled with a slice out of his foot from an exposed nail!
But the little lobster, despite his wounds, continues to have the biggest smile on his face as he continues to throw himself in to life and love it.
He is always one of my biggest inspirations and always makes me proud and grateful of my parental duties and so, in the end, I come full circle and they become part of the healing and grieving process itself.