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  • Writer's picturektherieau

me, my inner warrior goddess &marshmallow fluff

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.

-Vicki Harrison

I could feel my head in my hand; my hand outstretched, covering my forehead and eyes, as the detective spoke of my brother Jerry's death. As the detective explained the circumstances of finding my brother, I was in disbelief. I shook my head, eyes still closed.

Tears slowly and silently flowed from my eyes. I could feel the physical heaviness of pain in my chest. The pain in my heart. As days passed, I remained in shock. I tried to go about my days, go to work, teach yoga, go to the store. I would show up to places, but only in a physical sense. Mentally I was numb. I couldn't focus. I had trouble remembering what task I was working on. Couldn't recall where I parked my car.

I had no appetite and had trouble sleeping, I couldn't rest. My mind and heart continued to play the scenario of Jerry's death over and over. I would be okay one moment, and not okay the next. It was as if I was in the ocean, and I would find myself overwhelmed by the vastness and size of the water, which was of course my heartbreak. I would struggle to get my head above water, start to be okay and start to accept this tragic senseless loss, and then, suddenly, the guilt and sadness would pull me under like a strong current or ocean predator. I felt that I had two choices, try to save myself and become stronger and smarter than the force that was pulling me down, or give in, and let the salt water take me under and consume me, and keep me in this heaviness of heartbreak .

After two weeks of battling with both of these options, my inner warrior goddess showed up.

It was at 1 in the morning when a voice within my heart center, spoke loud and clear, " It's okay to grieve, but not eating, not sleeping and not being your true self, is not serving you." My inner warrior goddess continued, and with swollen red eyes, I listened. " This type of behavior has no gain, let me assist you in healing." "You can do both, she gently spoke, you can grieve and you can take care of yourself."

I walked from my bed to my pantry and reached for the peanut butter, marshmallow fluff and one slice of whole wheat bread. Spreading the peanut butter on the bread, I felt the hot tears run down my face. Chewing felt foreign, I was afraid of swallowing the food. I exhaled and trusted my inner goddess's words, I can be sad AND take care of myself. By the third bite, the marshmallow fluff was tasting good, really good. Since then I have been back for my 1 am marshmallow fix several nights, and each morning Im feeling a little better, a little less sad, a little closer to healing.

Currently,I am feeling safe with the tools to heal, I have good friends, a bereavement counselor, my inner warrior goddess and yes, marshmallow fluff,

January 1966.
Author, Kelly Therieau with her brother Jerry.

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