Friday, March 1, 2013

Body of Grief

Grief lives inside my body.  It radiates from my cells, and out through my blood, then my organs, the liver, stomach, lungs, and heart pulsating with despair.  My bones quake and ache with pain.  A headache from subconsciously clenching my jaw, that I can not seem to stop, that begins the cycle of the pain, manifesting psychical anguish everywhere throughout this vessel.  Until it gets stuck somewhere between my muscles and the top layer of skin.  The skin that won't give pain it's release.  Its as if my skin is the final barrier, keeping the grief in.  Keeping this white light of energy that moves frantically from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head, looking, searching, pleading for a way to leave. 

Or maybe this energy is my body that is trying to escape grief.  Maybe my body wants to escape it's own shell that has failed me and failed it's self.  Maybe my body's energy wants to meet the world in a new form.  It wants to live again, but differently, in a world where grief does not consume it and innocence was not lost.  A world where grief is no longer like water filling my body up from the inside and my soul and body slowly drowning, together, in our own vessel that we can not escape.  My body, my life boat, and my tomb.

These past few weeks grief has encompassed me in a way I never imagined possible.  Grief has manifested itself in the bodily form.  It comes with physical pain such as tension headaches and muscle aches.  Even in knowing that my headaches are caused by the constant clenching of my jaw, I can't seem to stop this reflex.  I will draw my attention to it, relax and release, but the jaw goes right back into it's place of tightness and anticipation, causing immense facial and head pain.  It's as if my body is waiting for something.  For a different out come.  For all it's work over the past 9 months of creating a baby to be validated by my daughter being in front of me, in my arms, in my body's arms.

While in graduate school I studied not only social work and mental health, but integrative therapies and healing practices.  I have always been intrigued with how the mental and the physical are connected.  This connection seems to prove that our intangible emotions are actually tangible as they manifest themselves in the body through illnesses or health.  The connection is astonishing but often overlooked in a society where mental health and physical health seem to be viewed as separate, especially for insurance purposes.  But, we intuitively know they are connected.  We could not function in this world with out the connection.  Our emotions provide us clues about our body, and our body provides us clues about our emotional state.

This month I am beginning to understand more about why I intuitively have chosen to heal my physical body first, by focusing on exercise and nutrition.  My body is trying to talk to me, tell me something.  It wants me to listen to it's needs.  This makes sense, do to much of my tragedy having evolved from my body's own trauma of failing me and causing the death of my child.  For the last 9 months, my body has been the central focus of my life.  I  have put great expectations on it to produce and provided.  It's changes throughout pregnancy I was weary about and sometimes mad at, but we moved forward together.  It is only after the loss of my daughter at my bodies own hands, that I finally separated from my body in a symbolic divorce, that only my soul has the ability to foolish think it has the capability to do so.  I guess my soul knows someday, that I will no longer need this body and will leave it, so it thinks it can be ahead of the game in leaving my body now.  The reality is that on this earth, and in this moment, that is just not true. 

So my soul and my body are fighting this war of divorced parents.  Both, blaming each other for the death of their child.  Both incapable of seeing the other's sorrow and grief.  Both, loving and longing for the human they created that is no longer a part of this world or made up of their cells.  The cells that connected them in this life, that created this life form of love that only for a moment lasted, and has now, in its absence, placed a divide between this once loving couple.  This loving couple, who still need each other as life companians for the next sixty years. 

I will continue on my journey of healing my grief through the physical of 30 minutes of exercise a day coupled with proper nutrition and the joy of cooking.  I will continue to listen to my body and the clues it provides me about my grief and I will try to start the long journey of forgiving my body. Until then, I will slowly show my forgiveness in nourishing it and showing my love for my body again through my healthy actions.  Little by little, I hope my body sees that I am like a parent in that divorced couple, slowly learning that I am not alone in my sorrow, and that my partner, my body, is waiting for me to let go of the blame and grieve along side her.  I am slowly learning to be at one with her again.

~Still Breathing...Lindsey

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