In replying to a comment left on another entry, I started thinking about this subject. My journal here is certainly very cathartic for me. It allows me to bring out the thoughts and feelings swirling around inside. It’s a way of opening a window and letting some light in. And in doing this, I lance the wound…my tears fall as I write. Did I mention how very exhausting this work of grief is? If this were a journal kept on paper, the pages would be spotted, the ink running where my tears hit.
The professional suggested another way for me to get the feelings out. What I do is pick a spot where he always sat, and speak to it as if he were there. Just say whatever is on my heart at that moment. The first time I did this, I was shocked at how effective it was. The tears it brought up were cleansing, in a way. Instead of the burning hot painful ones I usually cry. I was so wrung out after, I had to go take a nap.
Yesterday I lay on my bed and had a good cry. I had to displace the cats first – or try at any rate, Puck wasn’t going anywhere. He’s nearly 8 kilos, I didn’t have the strength to fight the big lump. He curled up behind my knees while I made hurt animal sounds, and after the storm passed I could feel him purring there. The animals comfort me in their own ways. Buffy has started licking my arm, trying to comfort me as she would a puppy. I feel lighter after these sessions. Not better, just…as if I’ve gotten rid of something that was weighing me down.
Catharsis is defined as “the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions”. It took some time for me to understand how necessary the purging is. I bottled it up for months. It stunted my growth, so to speak. I didn’t address any of it for months, and it was the wrong thing to do. It’s certainly easier, not dealing with the grief, but it’s not at all realistic. My grief needs to be dealt with, I need to purge the sorrow. Or as much of it as I can…a bit of it will always be with me, this sorrow.
I’m coming to realize that none of this ever goes away. You just beat it down to a manageable level…where I can notice the world around me, and want to take part in it again. Someday.
I just realized something…catharsis is another way of letting go, isn’t it?