As I lay on the couch watching random videos online, I suddenly realize that I’m looking at someone who has the exact same eyes as my dad. I stare at his eyes as if they actually were my dad's to enjoy that moment my mind was creating to feel like he was right there. Just for that moment. I recognized it as a gift and feel like I now know the true meaning of what’s called, ‘a bittersweet moment.’ The vines of grief then start to rise up in that the blissful moment of not missing my daddy was fleeting.
I start to feel a familiar ache churning from deep down in the area I created for all of the emotional pain that I can't carry with me day in and day out. I call it the abyss.
The vines of grief rise up through my stomach. Muscles contract throughout my abdomen from the sudden contact of feelings from way down deep. They continue to rise into my chest and the branches wrap around my rib cage. The vines pierce my heart, causing pain from an old wound that is now actively bleeding. It's been reopened by an assault from the abyss.
I find it hard to take a deep breath from the constriction of the vines. My heart feels heavy from a wound that has never completely healed. This cascade of insult is a result of the opening of the abyss.
The vines continue to grow up through my throat, causing it to tighten. It spirals around my trachea as if it could completely shut off my airway with one swift clench. As it enters my head, the pressure brings a stinging heat to my eyes and they start to swell. I try my best to hold it back knowing that after 2 years of him being gone it won't do any good to cry about it again.
As hard as I try to stop it’s progression, the roots keep coming. They now enter my mind and start to feed the spot where I hold all of the memories of my dad. Feeding it with fertilizer from the Abyss.
It has a full hold on me now. I am suspended in time hanging there, helpless, by the vines of grief. There’s a big screen in front of me. I’m unable to close my eyes or turn away from it. At first it feels bad and I don't like it at all. I feel captive and bound to experience something that belongs in the abyss.
Then as clear as day I see my dad’s big blue eyes smiling at me with love and pride. I can hear his laugh. It makes me relax and stop fighting against the vines of grief. I long to near his voice again. To give him one more giant hug that always made my heart smile. It suddenly feels very fresh. Like no time had passed. I feel the endless love, I hear his laughter and now I can clearly see one of the greatest gifts that this lifetime had given me. The one I call dad.
The vines start to loosen as a tear falls down my cheek. This starts the process of release and I’m able to take a deep breath. My heart continues to beat as strong as ever, like a wounded warrior. I release the vines that carry the pain and allow them to descend into the abyss.
As the vines completely recede i'm left with the feeling of overwhelming inspiration. Inspiration to live life to the fullest for my dad. to have gratitude for what I have been given as well as what I have lost. This inspiration and gratitude comes from what now remains dormant in the Abyss.
By allowing it to run its course without fighting it I was able to let it rise, feel it, and then let it go as it gently recedes. I know that it is always there. I never know when it will start to rise again. I do know that it keeps the soil of the soul rich and nourished. It exercises the healing mechanism of the heart. It stirs up wonderful memories within the heart and mind. It will recede, taking with it the pain and suffering as long as I let go and allow it to. I am also reminded each time it happens that I can expect inspiration and gratitude from my dad in the form of vines from the Abyss.
I choose not to hold onto the vines with their tight grip on my whole body. I choose not to let an old wound in the heart reopen, knowing that after 2 years of him being gone it won’t do any good to cry about it again.