Monday, March 12, 2012

When the Smoke Hits

Yesterday was one of those emotional roller coaster days for me. Except, it wasn't really a roller coaster. It was more like a really fast car ride down a short but steep hill.

Don't worry, I have a great metaphor for you.

This weekend when I was driving out of town, I was going downhill on the freeway. Traffic was light to moderate. As I'm continuing to travel down this gradual hill, a huge cloud of thick, white smoke gushes out of a tanker truck that is in front of the car that's in front of me. The smoke immediately becomes so thick that it's hard to understand and see what is going on. It appeared as though the truck was starting to jackknife.

"Oh my gosh!" I said outloud to myself, terrified, scared, and not knowing what was happening. I hit my brakes, checked my rear-view mirror to be sure the car behind me was also braking. I was in the middle lane. People in the lanes beside me were running off the side of the road to keep themselves from colliding.

I hit those brakes, praying that whatever was happening to the truck ahead of me, that God would keep me and everyone else safe. As my car passed through the cloud of smoke, I saw the deep black skid marks left behind from the truck. Then, all of the drivers, including me, came to a near stop. I could sense the fear as I saw the drivers eventually start to slowly, very slowly, pick up speed again once the truck re-gained control.

That's what life is like sometimes. Out of nowhere, we're hit with this thick, cloud of smoke and we're left with nothing other than the tools of survival. We don't understand why things are happening but we know what we want the end result to be and we have to keep that picture in our minds as we are within the smoke.

Yesterday, a few hours after visiting my Mom's grave, I was hit with that metaphorical cloud of smoke. I've visited her grave every weekend thus far, and it's always been peaceful for me. But this time, hours later, I felt physically suffocated by that smoke and, as a result, felt the energy get sucked right out of me. It was odd to really feel that drain as it took place. I know that it was the grief. It hurt like heck and I didn't know what to do. So, I cried. I let it out until the smoke cleared.

When the smoke hits, hold on for dear life. It will clear.

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Ronida said...

Aw. You have a gift in writing. Don't worry, it's just a matter of time and you'll eventually feel better. For now, just continue to cherish your mom's memory and know that she's so happy to see that her daughter is such a strong woman.

Aimee L said...

There's this cute book called "Brazilian Sexy: Secrets to Living a Gorgeous and Confident Life" that I read a while back. An entire chapter was called "Cry Yourself an Amazon River" and basically described crying until it stops hurting, every single day.

I actually practiced this theory during my own periods of grief and heartbreak before I read about it and can attest that it absolutely works.

Stay strong, but when you're feeling weak...cry yourself an Amazon river :)

Lib at Truly His said...

Thinking of you! Praying for you! Your courage is inspiring!

Torie said...

I am so glad that you and the drivers are okay. That's terrifying, and you turned it into a beautiful life lesson. There is so much to learn from you, dear, and you inspire me. :)

Jennifer said...

I SO know what you mean. Grief often comes in these sudden, unexpected and very disrupting ways. And so does life for that matter. This analogy was perfect and beautiful. Your journey and how you write it out is inspiring.

Thanks for reminding me that the smoke will clear. It's good to remember that when it feels like it won't.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, and a great story to share with it. My father passed away when I was 15 years old. Things seemed smokey for quite some time, but eventually it clears :) what a lovely reminder. Keep your head up girl, xoxo.

Lauren said...

This is such a beautiful post Chelsea! As I always tell you, you're so strong and brave!

Lauren said...

I know a lot of people talk about the grieving process like it has a certain starting and ending point... But I think it's totally like this. You have moments where everything is okay, or you at least have a grip on things, and then moments where you feel totally overwhelmed or like you're suffocating. It's never as clear cut as "people" say it is, it's messy, but you're totally tackling it all with the best attitude you can have. You can just take one day at a time, one moment at a time.

Miss K said...

it will get better. my mother lost her father 20 years ago, and she still gets sad and cries about it. but when it first happened, it was almost everyday. then every week. then every other week. and eventually the time between cries are further and further away, even though the memories are just as close. my thoughts are with you, xoxo

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