Monday, August 22, 2011

Dancing with a Limp

You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp. - Anne Lamott

Apparently I suck at grieving. It took me over two decades to finally grieve the loss of the love of my life. I’m still not sure I have finished that process. And now I’m struggling with the profound loss of my friend and therapist. She died on July 1st. Her birthday was August 7th. I had purchased Broadway show tickets to celebrate with her what would have been a milestone birthday. The tickets were for this past weekend but I threw them out. That was stupid. I have plenty of friends in the NYC area who could have enjoyed them. But it sheds light on the "fuck it" kind of place I’ve been in lately.

I am now through all those weird anniversary type dates and plans that magnify the hole that she has left in my life. I have not cried yet. I still leave my calendar open on Monday afternoons, my traditional therapy slot. PTSD symptoms have come back strong and I still find myself reaching for my phone to call her about them. Putting the phone back down is hard. There is no one on the other end.

I know my friends have been worried about my lack of emotion and my reclusiveness. I have been worried too. I am still in that numb state. Maybe that’s okay. Emotions will come out when they’re ready. Even if that’s 20 years from now. (Actually I really don’t think that’s healthy, but I don’t know how to change it)

However, Lauren taught me many things, the main one being that first I have to say what I would be; and then do what I have to do. She taught me how to dance with a limp.

So I have set my intentions:

- I need to finish documenting my therapy journey here, including all the recent setbacks. She always encouraged me to write it out to give me both clarity and relief.

- I need to finish the goals I had set with her. I will write about these separately and perhaps be asking some of you for your help with them.

- I need to get back to my spiritual self. People who love me help me take care of the physical and the emotional. But only I can care for my spiritual needs and I have too long neglected them. I need to make it a priority.

-I need to take the steps necessary to push that motherf*cking boulder back up that motherf*cking hill and get back to that place of PTSD freedom I felt for one brief shining moment.

-and I need to find some way to honor her. She did a lot of work with breast cancer patients (including me) so I think I will find something in that area.

I know that I still have to go through the grief. I am a big believer in sitting with my feelings for as long as it takes. This is obviously going to take a long, long time to heal. But Lauren taught me how to dance while healing. Step by painful step. I know the foot work. I need to start from step one and go through it again. But it will be very sad and very hard to dance them alone.


  1. You don't suck at grieiving. You have suffered a monumental loss. Just as your body heals a flesh wound at it's own pace, you will heal in the time that is right for you.

    Lauren obviously gave you many gifts. It is wonderful that you are able to return them in both honoring her and by living your life with the intention to be whole.

    Please call on me for any kind of help you are seeking. And believe that you are never dancing alone.

  2. It's nice to see you getting up to dance again.

  3. I agree with Sue. Hugs...

  4. Remember that brief shining moment. That is where you are headed. Step by halting step, you have a road map to get there. Every step honors Lauren, and Daphne, and yourself.

    Thank you for not giving up. You are an inspiration.


  5. This post has given me an idea of your absolute determination to heal. I can feel your hope. And to still feel that hope in the face of so many setbacks is truly inspirational. I have no doubt you will get back to that PTSD freedom and be able to live it for a long time.