Before my daughter died, I had always imagined that this sort of severe grief was like a guillotine... bang! Comes down the moment you find out he or she is gone, your head rolls off, blood spurts out of your neck hole and that's that. It's not that easy though. I have to say, after 3 years, it's more like a slow, flesh eating disease. It eats you from the inside out. It twists up your bones, wrenches your muscles, jerks and strains your nervous system and turns your skin into wax paper.
After a month of severe back problems, MRI, X-rays, etc., I was ushered into physical therapy. Turns out that depression and anxiety aside from the obvious fun, also create/amplify physical problems as well. It affects posture which, over time, puts stress on your spine and muscles... I've also been having headaches which I thought were due to vision problems. Not so... Apparently, they are cluster headaches, and they are often caused/amplified by (drumroll please)... you guessed it!! Anxiety and depression!!
I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and examined the way that grief has most likely accelerated my aging. My hair is white... my spine is hunched and sore... eyes are tired, dark and creased from squinting... Jesus Christ. I think I'm just now, 3 years later, realizing how tired I am, physically, from being so often in a locked and hunched position.
So... that's my goal for year 4: learning to unlock.