Good Grief

The sky was tinged with gray hues, and the sound of the leaves rustling from the wind predicted the imminent shower. It’s Thursday morning, which meant I had my weekly session with Dr. A, my Dr. Melfi. We first start the hour by checking in on how the meds are working for me and how I’ve been functioning physically.

Then, usually comes the harder part of actually having to ‘talk.’ I can’t remember exactly what she asked me that prompted me to talk about my standstill. As I started to recount my thoughts from the past week, I also stared out the window since I could see the weather changes out of her window. Minutes passed, and the gray tones turned to coal and soon the rain and a flash of lightening . Whatever gray thoughts I harbored in myself also saw this time as the chance to break open in that moment. Just as the clouds are a slow accumulation of moisture, I guess I had more emotions collected than I could hold anymore.  I spoke about as openly as I ever have  about just what it feels like to be me in this moment, at this juncture as the tears poured out of me. It felt like I cried and bawled during much of the hour.

She listened as she kept handing me one sheet of tissue paper after another. But unlike the times before when we had to deal with the tears in a more medical manner (e.g. medication), she gave me a simple answer: “This is grief. It’s the process of grieving.” I had read in books about how it is okay to revisit past traumas and reprocess those moments, but it was comforting to have her tell me that what I was doing isn’t harmful or a relapse of something terrible. It is okay to feel this way.

After each session, I always say Thank you as I head to the door. It may seem like a hollow, routine greeting, but I always mean it when I say it as I leave her office.

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