And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
Grief is such an interesting process. It really isn't an emotion, but a spectrum of emotions and sensations. I've always been really good at ignoring things that I don't want to penetrate my consciousness. But grief pokes it's head through the defending wall and strikes at my heart when I least expect it.
This time those moments of unspeakable sadness, of awareness of my own mortality, and knowledge that we are held together body, soul, and spirit by only a fragile invisible bond are less intense than when Victor died, but intense enough to interrupt the flow of my daily routine.
I knew that my grieving for Jeannie was compounded by the remnants of grief over Victor's death. Sunday night I slept fitfully. My nightmares were of being young and in prison. I painted the prison walls bright yellow, but still I couldn't get free. In the next dream, I was old and homeless, searching among the garbage behind restaurants for dinner. There was no logical explanation for this sudden episode of depression. On Monday morning, I dragged myself to school by sheer will power. Once there, however, I did fine. I was able to be effective with kids, even managed to get some things filed.
I had no explanation why Sunday evening was so difficult until tonight's reflection when I made the connection with Victor's death. Following the thought that Jeannie's death affected me so profoundly because I still hadn't recovered from Victor's death in February, 2006, I checked the calendar. Sunday was Feb 22, the third anniversary of Victor's death.
Recognizing the problem is half the solution. So now that I know I've been caught in the web of grief upon grief, I can deal with it.
Grief triggered by an anniversary is fairly common, even when it's not recognized. Seasons of life evoke reaction, albeit involuntary. So I shall have to set aside a few days in February each year to celebrate the life of two dear friends, one of whom died with my liver. Jeannie's death has reminded me that I have goals yet to be met. Things to do.