A couple of weeks ago, I started seeing a new therapist. I haven’t stopped seeing the original one as I’m not ready to let go of someone who has walked with me for so much of this journey. That means I spend twice as much time sitting in a chair across from someone who is supposed to help me “figure this out.”
The new therapist and I have met twice, and this week will mark the third time. The first two sessions were primarily introductions with the last one ending with a homework assignment for me…the first real step in the cognitive therapy. She asked me to write out what I feel I’ve lost because of Melinda’s accident. I must have looked shocked or something because she followed that up with a simple question. “Do you think you could write a page or so?” A PAGE!!!!!!! I could out write Tolstoy! She specifically asked that I not leave it until the last minute so that I didn’t feel pressured; I sat down this morning to compose “my page.”
I don’t claim to be a good writer, but it comes easily for me; I’ve kept journals of varying kinds since childhood. It’s part of my life to express myself in written form, but this morning was different. It took me nearly 3 hours to compose a single page of what I’ve lost. I edited repeated because I couldn’t accurately condense into 250 words what my daughter meant and still means to me.
How do I, in a handful of sentences, a few paragraphs, convey the brokenness of my heart, my spirit, and my soul? How do I convey so succinctly the impact my daughter’s 20 years of life have had on my life? How do I fully explain the pain of not being able to hold her or hear her? Impossible. I couldn’t do it justice if I wrote an entire series of books let alone a single page, but today I pushed myself to revise and to condense this horror into a page long diary entry.
Of course I hardly touched on all the levels of complicated pains. As I wrote, I got angry at times. I shouldn’t have to be doing this. Just 21 months ago today, I wouldn’t have been able to confine my joy to one page. I would have needed volumes then too, but they would have been very different.
I wrote that single page today with so much missing, but I wrote it. Could you confine your greatest pain to one page? Maybe if I can learn to do that, I can learn to “move on.” Doubtful.