(On differing styles & paces during grief in marriage.)
A togetherness of steps in this life journey.
There were, of course, out-of-step times occasionally,
But as a whole, we moved forward together in stride.
When our world crashed
and grief moved in,
our Stride was Broken.
For a while, we were both immobile
and time didn´t exist.
But as we began to move again,
everything was different;
as we began to stir,
we could see that our whole world had changed.
They told us that grief was a ¨two steps forward, three steps back¨ kind of thing.
But his forward steps were her backwards steps,
and when he was going backwards, she was moving forward.
Alignment began to elude us;
And we struggled, trying to recover our former rhythm.
The tempos were offbeat,
the gaits contrasting,
the pain distinct,
the headway disparate.
When he experienced acceleration,
While he rejoiced with new momentum,
she retreated to barely standing.
When she spoke of their grief articulately,
he struggled through tears to make sense to others.
When he marched or ran or on occasion raced,
she trudged, plodded or stumbled.
Sometimes he crashed -
and she lifted him up...
only to watch him catch the wind and fly off again.
Sometimes he slowed
and tried to gently carry her with him.
She travelled for a short stint -
but struggled out of his arms to walk her own necessary path.
There are two unmistakably distinct (and necessary) strides.
They are strange and scary to us both.
So the question is:
Can we be ok with this for a while?
Can we adjust to this unfamiliar divergence of paths?
Can we shoulder the loneliness of it?
Can we - for the sake of love & healing -
carry the weight of the frustrations and comparisons inherent in it?
Can we hold on to hope that we will learn a new pace -
possibly very different from the one before?
Each stride carries different scenery, experiences, relationships, emotions.
Neither stride is wrong -
but they are different.
Can we learn to find rest points together along the way
to regroup, listen & learn?
Can we respect the other person´s need for a different style and tempo?
Are we willing to take time & energy from other things to readjust?
Are we willing to live for a while with a Broken Stride?
There used to be a certain pace to ¨us,¨
A togetherness of steps in this life journey...
Our pace has changed & now there are two.
We may look awkward, we might not understand,
but we are moving -
and for now that is victory.
Photo by: Billy Wilson