Lately, everything I look at is blurred, doubled, and unclear. I put off scheduling an eye exam for a while because I just wasn’t prepared to deal with any more bad news in my life. But when I finally couldn’t take it any more, I tried to get an exam for new glasses. Tried being the key word. Unfortunately, instead of a new prescription, I was given a referral to an eye surgeon for cataract surgery. And if the surgery goes well, maybe the blurriness of my vision can be corrected.
But what about the blurriness of my life vision? Because everything I see in life is blurred by grief.
Some days the grief is just like a bright piercing glare. It’s sharp, stabbing, constant pain that keeps me from concentrating or focusing on anything. Those are the days that I rage against the unfairness of life, that I curse at the TV for every insensitive diaper commercial, and that I immediately block those who post the memes on Facebook about blessings and positive thinking.
Some days the grief is dull and and the world is colorless. It’s not a sharp pain but just a nameless ache that something, or rather someone, is missing. It’s trying, and failing, to find joy in activities that I used to love. It’s going through the motions of life without actually living.
And some days the grief causes double and triple vision. Everything is filtered through and magnified by my experiences. The Facebook pregnancy announcements that I can usually just hide and move on with my day, instead magnify and multiply. They become a painful reminder of what I have lost, of what I will never have, and the fear that this pain might soon befall someone I care about. It’s about the secondary losses that seem to spring up out of no where; it’s finally accepting that I will never have a living child to raise and then getting sucker punched in the gut with the reality that I will also never have a grandchild to spoil.
Everything I see, read, do, and say is filtered through my grief.
Why is there no surgery to correct my grief vision?
In a perfect world there would be an easy fix. Actually, no, in a perfect world there would be no need for an easy fix because none of us would lose our children. Instead of a perfect world, though, we have this crappy reality, where few things are easily fixed and grief is certainly not one of them. As Megan Devine says “Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”
Even my cataract surgery won’t really fix my vision. Some of the nearsightedness will be lessened, yes, but my astigmatism will remain. Doctors cannot fix the distorted way that my eyes see the world; it is simply a part of me. And in the same way, my grief vision will remain. In time, the grief-focus intensity lessens, but there will always be those remnants of grief that will distort how I see the world; it has become a part of me.