You carry so much grief, he said

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And I do. I just don't know how not to.

Some of you know it all. You heard the whole story as my world was coming down around me. For you who haven't been around that long; it feels weird to list stuff because it's like I'm fishing for sympathy, and I don't feel like someone to feel sorry for.

This evening I walked around in my garden. The green grass tickled my feet, butterflies flapped around the violets in the golden light. I smelled the apple blossom and watched the bees buzz around its crown in the setting sun. I'm so fucking lucky. Just a few hours ago I got to spend some time with my dad. I live in a beautiful little house with a wonderful man and two great kids. I have so many friends and family that I cherish. Wonderful people that have given me so much, welcoming me back with open arms after being gone for so long.

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But the wounds stay open, and I don't know how to close them back up again.

I spend late nights searching for information, trying to get clues on where to go from here. How to handle grief in a constructive way. Most of the articles I find are about how to forgive someone. They tell me how to write letters asking for forgiveness, but I have no one to apologize to. They tell me how to write a letter to those who cannot beg for forgiveness, but I have no one to pardon. No one was at fault for what happened during those years. It just happened. It was nature, chaos, entropy. No one is to blame, no one to address liberating letters to, no one to turn my back to before I enter the path of salvation. How do I find relief from something that was entirely beyond my control?

I've tried finding comfort in just that; that I could do nothing to spare myself from the sorrow, but it's been fruitless. I still feel the burden on my shoulders. I'm stuck.

It hasn't stopped me from living life. Far from it. The last three years have been a flurry of positive experiences and wonderful events, side by side with the darker sides of life. I go all in but keep a little distance at the same time to protect myself from further suffering, and that's not what I want. I'm afraid of being dependent on someone else. I'm afraid of getting sucked up into another person's world, a world that I would have to abandon in case of a separation, just like four years ago. To make friends that I would lose, just like I did four years ago. To love something so deeply and then lose it again. I could have tried to regain my footing where I had loved living for six years, but I would have been forced to sell my home either way. In hindsight, I made the right decision by leaving.

While there's no regret in moving back home, it's harshly bittersweet having left such a big part of my heart among the open fields, 400 kilometers from where I now sit in a chair across from the man I love. It pains me that my heart irreversibly lies in a place that I will never again call home. That the whole process of losing my home, my planned future, my marriage, and my job intermingles with the loss of my mom just after I moved back home. It's a mess, sincere gratitude mixed with deep sorrow. Confusing and hard to deal with.

We went back there a few weeks ago, for Easter. A friend of mine is currently living just a few kilometers from my beloved ex-house, so we took the opportunity to drive around and visit my favourite historical sites that A wanted to see for himself. I didn't tell anyone I was visiting because, honestly, I didn't know how I would handle being back. I wasn't ready to see anyone that I held dear. Almost four years ago, I just upped and left. I never said goodbye to my co-workers (I was on sick leave due to chronic pain when my ex and I split up and I realized I wouldn't be returning to work), and never hugged my friends that last time. It hurt a lot to see my old home again and traveling the same old roads, there's no need in hiding that. I didn't cry as much as I thought I would, and it was sort of nice to see the old haunts again, but I didn't find relief afterward. The pain persists.

I'm almost ashamed to talk about my grief, having received so much love throughout the years since I moved back home as if I'm an ungrateful failure that can't just let the past be the past and move on. But when I look back on what I've gone through with factual eyes, I don't feel like a failure. I've been supported by my close ones, but I have fought on under my own steam. In just a few years I experienced some of life's most painful events, and I still stand even if my knees are buckling sometimes. Maybe I should be proud, but I'm not.

I can't put my finger on what I'm stuck on. It's like stasis. I'm so incredibly happy for everything I've been gifted but still carrying a thinly veiled sadness. Like living in my home town again is just a reminder of what I've lost instead of it being a new start, even though I'm so grateful for it all. All of it has been so acutely apparent in all aspects of my life, making me feel like I am my loss, not just the one having experienced it.

Maybe writing this post is a sign that I'm going in the right direction. A hint that I've grown tired of the grief, and that I'm ready to move on. Let’s hope it’s that way. I just don't know how to.