Something that I have realized is difficult to convey is the impact that grief seems to have on the brain. It’s a crazy thing- this grief- that touches every part of life. I discussed this a bit in this entry: “I Forgot” https://wordpress.com/post/whaticantcontrol.com/93. Lately though I realized a good way to describe it.
Picture your brain as a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces. Most of the time those pieces stay connected allowing us to function. Sometimes small things happen and a piece is moved and has to be put back. We adapt to that small thing. But what about the big things? The REALLY big things? When Gabe died it’s like someone took that puzzle that was so neatly assembled and broke it up. Every single piece. Nothing was connected, nothing could function. Nothing beyond the basic physiological functions anyway. And even those were way off. I needed medication to sleep, and a simple cold a few weeks later became pneumonia. So really I couldn’t function. I was alive, and I was here, but that was about it.
As time progressed small pieces started clicking back together. Each section that was reassembled was not always noticeable, but gradually the pieces started to stick together. Eventually the corners and all of the edges were in place. Now at 2 years and almost 5 months (that date will be Saturday Sept. 8) I can look back and see how much progress I have made. It couldn’t be rushed, it just had to happen. I am in a much better place now than I was a year ago, or even just a few months ago.
As time continues to pass I know those pieces will continue to come together. It FEELS like they are clicking together faster and easier. I don’t think they will ever all be back, but I am much more confident now that my brain will adapt to these gaps and I’ll move forward. One puzzle piece at a time.
**The picture above is from our home in Broadway. Gabe was carving his pumpkin and he was frustrated. I used it because it conveys how frustrating it can be, especially early in grief, to not be able to do things that you think should come easy. I love that picture. I remember that day and have many other photos. But that one is my favorite. I also love that it shows his fingernails. He had an anxiety disorder and with that came something called pica. He ate things. His fingernails, even to the day he died, were about half the size they should have been because he would bite them so aggressively. He ate many other things too, but the nails are one of the things I will always remember about him**