complicated grief

Go ahead, relax

How does it feel when a load is suddenly lifted from you? An exceptionally heavy load, although all loads must seem exceptionally heavy when you have long carried them. Then, suddenly, no load, no weight at all. It has to feel odd at first. What's the first thought upon waking? Well that's over. Whew!  Or is it, help! What do I do now?  Do you imagine a phantom load similar to the phantom limbs amputees describe?

The puddly sight of deflated balloons, of ordinary water inside a pressure cooker when the lid is removed. The sky after a furious storm. The gradually slower rocking of the sea in the wake of a passing ship. A sigh. Releasing a brake to let something - a car, a bike, a machine - begin to roll. The last piece of a puzzle. The test result you've been waiting for. Admittance of guilt. The curtain rising, the curtain falling. The denouement of a story.

In nature, when surface rocks are weathered or eroded, the rock underneath experiences a reduction in pressure that allows them to expand and results in fractures that can be beautiful or dangerous. Melting glaciers cause the same thing. When a loved one dies after a long illness, caregivers endure a complicated grief. Relief that it's finally over, guilt because of feeling relieved. Life may look empty without all those needs to tend to, it may be hard to move on.

Deflated balloons, no fun. Pressure cooker lid off, supper is ready. The sky after a furious storm, beautiful. The gradually slower rocking of the sea in the wake of a ship, calm. Releasing a brake gets you going. The last piece of a puzzle, satisfaction. The test result you have been waiting for....hmm, depends on the result but at least you've got it. Admittance of guilt, relief. The curtain rising, at last the show begins. The curtain falling, it's over. The denouement of a story, almost home.