Grief in my body feels like black sludge that bubbles and expands in my intestines. I feel it most in that area between the solar plexus and my pubic bone. It swells, it bubbles, it stinks and it is thick like tar.
It is like those oil balls that would come up the coast in the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon blew up off the coast of Louisiana back in 2010. Those oil balls that no one knew what to do about because there was nothing that would dissipate them. Detergent would ruin the flora and fauna, and to leave them would for sure cause more destruction to the natural habitat.
This is what grief feels like in my body. The stench then moves to my brain and creates what my friend has termed “grief brain”. It sucks.
But as cheesy and new age-y as I’m about to sound, I’m going to say it any way. Feeling grief in the body is a really important part of the healing process. I am not sure I realized this until my latest bout with grief. My daughter and I were sitting last weekend, crying, and working at just feeling the process. She asked me what it felt like for me on the inside. She told me hers just feels like a big dark hole that she can’t fill.
The next day in my yoga class I could really feel my black tar start to move. It became active as I focused on that part of my body, on that chakra center. I felt the energy begin to swirl. I felt lighter at the end of class as I usually do after yoga, but something had shifted. In my body I felt that it was going to be okay. I felt the big tar ball begin to get thinner.
The next day my lungs were a little congested. But I knew why. It is the grief and the despair working its way out. It is the knowledge that while I miss Brother Grandad more than I can express – everything is going to be okay.