Where am I in my grief? I am lost.
So many metaphors can be used to describe this journey. Swimming in a stormy sea. Climbing up a rocky cliff. Navigating through a winding labyrinth. Right now, in this moment, I feel like I am scrambling through a dense, dark forest.
Everything looks the same. All of the trees tower above me like prison guards. They grab at me with gnarled fingers. When I try to run, I stumble over the jagged roots that shoot from the dirt. I am covered in grime and debris and I am so, so tired. So unbelievably tired. I don't want to run anymore. It's dark and cold and I just want to go back home. I think of my warm, well lit house. Of the fire that is burning in the fireplace. Of the soft, cozy bed and the cup of steaming hot chocolate that awaits me there. And I would give anything to just make this forest disappear so I could find my way to where my heart is.
But then, I remember that nice, crackling fire sparked the blanket on the bed. And, my entire house was quickly engulfed in flames and burned to the ground. I can't go back because there is nothing to go back to. My home - and my heart - are gone, so I have no choice but to keep going forward.
Right now, I am overwhelmed. Right now, I am exhausted. Right now, I am so angry that I can't change anything - that this is my life. Right now, I am lost inside this forest, inside the darkness, trying and fighting as hard as I can and for some reason, it is still not good enough. I am not getting anywhere. It's not getting any lighter and I'm not getting any warmer, and I am pretty sure I have passed this same tree twenty times already.
I have heard stories of women finding their way out of the forest. Or at least to parts where the the foliage isn't so thick, where the roots aren't so twisted. To parts where there are even clearings where the sun streams through the canopy and there are soft patches of ground to rest. But, I can't seem to get there. I am stuck in the dark and the cold.
There has never been a moment where I wasn't giving every ounce of myself to this fight - and there will never be one. I will always, always keep going. No matter how dark it gets. No matter how exhausted I feel. I owe it to my daughter to live a life of joy and light - and I will do whatever it takes to find my way.