Ugh. What an ugly word that surrender is. Isn’t it? I know that for me it has always been. I have always, always, always thought of surrender as a weakness. To surrender to something is to fail isn’t it? The looser in a battle surrenders. I have never been one for the romantic notion of surrendering either. To surrender yourself to someone sounds a bit 1842. I am not surrendering to B and I don’t expect him to surrender to me either (I would get immensely bored if he were all of the sudden compliant all the time, lol!). But, and now this is a big BUT Sir Mix-a-Lot, what if you can change a word. Change a word you say? Hmmm. Well yes. I would like to reclaim surrender in my mind. I would like to make it something that it’s okay to do.
When I was at work on Thursday we were having what I like to call a feelings meeting. A feelings meeting is exactly that. We all get together and share feelings, thoughts and beliefs and figure out how we can best work as a team to meet the needs of our clients and communities. P.S. I work with a pretty awesome group of women. At the closing of the meeting one of the women shared that she was still waiting for her mother’s call, as it was her birthday. Sadly her mother passed a few years ago, so she knew this call would not come. When she said these words she unknowingly shot them out like an Uzi and those bullets, they went straight for my heart. I gasped. I couldn’t breathe all of a sudden. Is this a panic attack I thought… No it was my old friend grief, and grief had come to tell me that my mother won’t be calling me on my birthday this year either. Thanks for stopping by grief, you asshole, it’s always a treat when you do.
I doubled over. I couldn’t sit straight. I couldn’t move but I wanted to run. I wanted to run right out of my body and not go back. The pain of that realization. My God how do I describe it. It was worse than the part of (natural) childbirth where the baby’s head comes out. And I felt the same afterwards, I thought I was split in two. I cried. Oh did I cry. I did the ugly, heaving sob, can’t stop it if you try crying. If I was in a movie doing this kind of crying people would not know whether to feel bad for me or laugh because they feel so awkward watching how ugly the crying is.
one of the wise women that I work with stayed behind and talked with me. Well first she sat there with me while I finished ugly crying, and you know what, she didn’t look away. She wasn’t scared or embarrassed by my ugly crying like some people might be. I felt safe to continue and so I did. If I feel like I am making someone uncomfortable by crying I typically try to stop, you know me, always the hostess, don’t want anyone to not be having fun at my expense. It did wonders for me to have her there next to me. She did not rush me , or speak to me or do anything really other than “be” and hand me tissues as I soaked one after another. I tried to speak but it came out like Morse code.
When I could speak, she said this is very fresh. Don’t rush yourself. Rush myself. Hmmmmm. Oh yeah, that’s probably exactly what I have been doing. I am not patient by nature and I wasn’t willing to be patient with my grief, why would I? It fucking sucks. Obviously I would want this over as fast as is humanly possible, why would I be patient. Oh….. well there is this little loophole called “it doesn’t work that way,” (smacks palm to forehead and cries DOH!). Well this is interesting, my mom’s last lesson to me as a parent will be patience. Thanks mom, well played.
So I have decided to surrender to grief. I am surrendering to my grieving process and the acknowledgement of this makes me stronger. Letting go, breaking down, picking up the pieces and putting them back together. And this is scary. It feels reckless. I have given myself a license to cry, sob, kick, scream and do whatever else I need to in order to not feel like I can’t take a deep breath anymore. And you know what, it’s working. The weight is lifting.
I broke the damn and the village was flooded, but I didn’t die. A few cows and chickens may have died, but that just means that the villagers ate steak and poultry double time last week, meh.