A neurosurgeon is experienced in the science and study of how the brain works, but no one has ever opened up the cranium and found the thoughts held by that patient. No one knows the thoughts of a person, except that person themselves.
This makes each of us unique in a very peculiar way. I have no idea what is going on in your head. I can only observe behavior that your thoughts produce.
I write about grief because you can’t read my mind. You can’t see my thoughts, but my act of writing can give you a glimpse of what I am going through.
I don’t mind the question, “How are you doing?” Mainly because the answer keeps changing. Answering that question is helpful to me in remembering where I’ve been and mindful of where I want to go.
Anger filled my thoughts in the beginning stages of loss. This was very unsettling to me. I’m not comfortable with anger. I don’t like the damage it causes. And I especially don’t like the business of cleaning up the mess that it leaves. But I knew I had to investigate it. I went in eyes wide open.
I bought a journal specifically for this stage of grief. I got very honest, more so than I’ve ever done in a writing project. I had to face the fear of that book ever being discovered. I wrote a disclaimer in the front of it, in case someone ever found it before I eventually burn it.
“On these pages are the thoughts of a grieving man. If anyone ever finds this, please don’t read it. But if you are unable to discard it, please know that this is my deliberate war between Love and Anger. Like any war, combat is grim and shocking. But I have every intention of seeing that Love is victorious.”
My angry thoughts had to be confronted, or else they were going to set up shop in my mind, and they had no intention of paying rent for taking up space. It was up to me to evict them. I couldn’t hire a surgeon to remove them for me. So I went to work.
I’m much less angry now. I’ve worked backwards through the years and fought through the initial negative emotions and experiences. I finally found the Place of Good Memories.
Traveling has been my calming tonic in the operation. I had a lot to suss out. I prefer the space to let my mind wander.