Two days makes three weeks since you left us…left me.
Every three days for the last month I surrender to the hands of my chiropractor who puts my body back together again. He says it is the stress that is pulling this body out of alignment.
He turns my neck. A yelp escapes me, like shock. I have to ask him to give me a minute so I can find my breath. He does, and I do. Long full breaths, letting this pain sequence through my bodysoul.
Hey lays me on my side. I have to relax the belly that has been rigid and churny. The solidness of his weight leans into mine, then one quick move – my body finds its rightful place again, while the paingrief escapes my mouth. I cannot keep it silent.
He pulls my leg back into the waiting cradle of the hip socket and I remember I am walking my path now, without her.
By far the worst is when he has me sit up, cross my arms into my chest while he uses the breadth of his own body to wrap around me, inviting my head to rest upon his shoulder. Slowly he lowers me down and releases the spine that has been protecting my heart – this tender heart that does not know how to live a life without her in it.
He raises me up again, adjusts his hands and once again takes me down. The release of another protective vertebrae and the grief it held washes over me. Like a wave, it ebbs and flows, and sometimes, like now, I feel the undertow pulling me down. He lifts me up – his part is done now. But I am undone. Had he stayed just like that, wrapped around me, I would have anointed his shirt with the holy water of this sorrow.
But, he is a chiropractor in an open room, and we are both Americans, which means grief is relegated to one or two public displays, then asked to sit quietly in the back of the room. So, I said my social goodbyes, paid the staff, sat in my car with the sunshade still up, and allowed my grief its tsunami.
I saw an Italian movie in passing once. There was a funeral scene of a loved one’s death and I didn’t need the absent subtitles to feel the fullness of their pain – faces twisted in anguish, wails ripped from the Soul of loving, bodies collapsed on the coffin – I want to wail like that. I want to keen alongside those who love her. I want the cacophony of sadness and loss and beauty and gratitude to rise so high it reaches her in the heavens or whatever plane she exists in now.
The fullness of my heartache wants the part that manages social constraint to fuck the hell off. It wants to howl the howl of a hundred thousand howls.
it comes out in trickles and gasps at chiropractors offices and in watering eyes at inopportune moments.
I wish I lived in a culture that gave me a year of black clothing so everyone would know that I might seem fine on the outside, yet understand the inside is collapsing…and mending. And breaking again…and restructuring.
It’s only been three short weeks. And I have to keep telling people, even those in my inner circle, that I am still in mourning. That the waves of sadness hit me unexpectedly, takes my spirit to its knees, grabs my breath like a fist and removes all awareness except this loss. This grieflove that demands my full attention and requires me to make a bigger space for the earthquake that is reorienting the geography of my heart.
My sweet friend would hate for me to wear black for a year. She would want me dressed in vibrant colors of flowing clothes. She would want me to dance this dance, to love richly and passionately, to live my life to its absolute fullness. And I will.
if someday, you happen to notice me wearing black, or observe a shift in mood, a catch of breath or a trickle at the corner of my eye, remember, I am still in mourning. Give me a year to ride the waves of these ongoing stages of grief – to let my body-psyche reorient its structure to a life without her.
© Sabrina Santa Clara, 2018