Tonight … Pain Flows From my Fingertips
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee/@grannygee
To tell the truth … I hate to say this but, I … when I’ve been so proud of how far … to tell the truth, I …
Truthfully, I didn’t want to ever say this again, but … if I didn’t tell you, I wouldn’t be keeping my word … my promise.
I have been experiencing grief for the past two days. It has been strong enough to affect my breathing, make my stomach hurt. Like an earthquake, I have been shaken.
I didn’t know this would happen like this. I thought I had everything in place, and everything would be good from now on. I wonder what happened?
Is it because it’s Mother’s Day? Is it because May 29th is soon? That’s the anniversary of my son’s death. Not only that, there’s another anniversary of another death … that occurred exactly one year before Tommy died. It was the beginning of the end of Tommy’s life.
On May 17th or 19th … a man stepped out in front of Tommy’s big truck on the Hernando De Soto bridge in Tennessee. No one knows if the man committed suicide, or was broke down.
Regardless, it devastated Tommy … no one would believe the hell he suffered. He had Survivor’s Guilt. This affected me so much, it was like it happened to me. That’s how much I felt the pain, grief my son suffered..
So, there’s Mother’s Day, anniversary of a tragedy, and anniversary of Tommy’s death … three dates all close together. All happened in May.
I know that all three are affecting me … today, and yesterday. I was prepared to just simply sail right through these days with no problems. I just knew I could.
Well, there aren’t any problems … it’s just the emotional toll it’s taking inside me. No one has to know, they sure won’t see it. I will write the grief, pain right here … let go of it, go forward. I have no choice.
I can’t just wallow in grief, pity for myself all the while crying ‘woe is me’. That’s not me at all … I don’t feel sorry for anyone who does that. A person has got to help themselves first.
My only thing I turn to … to help me is to begin writing as hard as I can. Somehow, it has helped me to get through the bad times. It’s surely helped me to be here today … the weight of all that grief would have been too heavy to bear … it would have been the death of me. I don’t say that in a joking way. Thank God that I had writing as an outlet.
I had no idea I would feel the strange, terrible sensations of what grief does to one … inside. Those damn birds are fluttering in my stomach … I take deep breaths until they calm down. They get trapped, and are desperately trying to fly away. It’s an awful sensation. Awful …
That’s pure panic … of facing up to something I thought I had coped with, put away in the halls of memories in my mind. I didn’t think they would pop up out of the blue … now.
I don’t let myself consciously think about any one thing to do with Tommy. This isn’t the time I can do that. So what to do? I won’t let Skip know … he gets upset if he knows I’m not all right. We are close, I don’t want him to be upset unnecessarily. I can get past this … just a matter of a little time.
No one can really say anything to help, even another grieving mother. What can be said? This is going to happen … only I have to get through it.
Sitting here quietly, I take a deep breath, my chin rests on the palm of my right hand. I slowly exhale, take another deep breath, hold it … exhale slowly. It does make me feel better. I feel everything is going to be all right.
I think the birds know they are free to fly … they don’t have to be afraid. They’ve quit fluttering now.
I kept my promise. It’s been quite some time since this has happened. This was a time when grief came up out of the blue, like a flash flood threatening to wash me away.
I think I will be able to rest tonight. The birds are flying free, up high and away from me. Writing the pain, letting it flow out from my fingertips … has released them. Deep breath … exhale slowly … deep breath … exhale slowly. Everything’s all right.
The birds are no longer fluttering their wings, beating against the cage … no longer feeling trapped. Deep breath … exhale slowly, everything’s all right.
Tonight … pain flows from my fingertips.
Note by this author:
‘Birds fluttering their wings as if trapped in a cage, beating the bars to get out” … is a sensation in my stomach … panic. This happens when grief shows up out of the blue. Hopefully, it’s gone away now.
Photos/true story are both owned, written by me, Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee.