The Roots of a Dandelion
I'm the one who is always positive. My gift to the world is my ability to inspire, to lift others up to their best self. People see me in a certain way; my life coaching brand created through my behavior and the language I use. I think it's unsettling for people to see me otherwise. Since the death of Dad, I've felt a profound sadness, strong like the roots of a dandelion. I can grab the top of it and swiftly pull off the new growth, but the root remains firmly planted. That root is my sadness. It's not like me to be so weepy, even though it makes sense that I would be. The "I should" voice rears its head...the one that says I knew this was coming and I shouldn't be so sad. But I am.
The other day, the sadness enveloped me like never, ever before. It took me by surprise, that rich tapestry of grief. It felt all-consuming, like being inside of a dark, heavy cloud. Clawing away, hoping to make my way out, I bit back tears all day. One word from someone who spoke of my healing sent me into convulsive sobbing, which went on for a while. I eventually ended up in the loving arms of my mother, who held me tight and let me cry like a child. It was a river, fiercely flowing, and it was an extraordinary experience.
Grieving has taken on a life of its own, leading me through thoughts and emotions unfamiliar to me. Anger, resentment, remorse, loneliness. It's not attractive, and yet I know it's important to feel what I'm feeling. Last night my physical trainer took me through 30 minutes of kickboxing moves, then asked me to beat the crap out of the bag freestyle, moving all my anger out of my body and into the bag. It was empowering and magnificent, each stroke to the bag coming from that deeply rooted tapestry of grief.
There's a line in an old Garth Brooks song called The Dance. "Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance." I could have stayed distant from Dad, leaving the tattered relationship alone. Instead, I chose to transform my relationship with him through conversations and love. I could have avoided the pain of missing him now, but I would have given up the dance of knowing him.
This morning, the cloak of sadness lifted slightly, the familiar emotion of joy shining through. I was driving to the office in my convertible, the bright sun pulsating and glorious. It felt wonderful to be alive. It seems the joy is in there, always; alongside the pull of the darkness of human grief.