Runner’s Low

St. Lucia July 2009 091Since my mom passed away, running has been harder for me.  It’s hard to find the time.  It’s hard to get away.  She used to watch the kids while my husband and I went to races.

Plus it’s near impossible to run and cry at the same time.  I learned that after one of my best friends, Carol, died.  It’s like you are having an asthma attack.  You need air to run and when you cry, it’s like your air gets suspended somewhere inside your chest.  It gets held up in the grasp of despair.  Grief.  Sadness.  You hold it in your chest to pay homage to the one that has passed.  Their breath suspended for eternity.  Yours for a brief moment until the force of persistent life draws it back.  Back to life.  From the brink.

In those moments, perpetual movement ceases.  That’s kind of not the goal of running, but it is the goal of death.  Movement ceases.  Breathing ceases.  Existence ceases.  In some ways since my mom died, I haven’t caught my breath entirely.  Somehow it still remains locked up in my chest.  To even begin to run causes my chest to heave, my lungs to constrict, the tears to sit just inside the lids.  Waiting to spill.  Again.  And Again.

People die.  I know this.  I’ve seen this.  I know how to compartmentalize this.  I thought I would do a better job of this.  In most aspects of my external life, I have.  It’s the moments of being totally alone and inside my head, during the run, that seems to be a place I can’t hold back the grief.  It’s on the run that the emotions spill over.  How silly I must look doubled over on the side of the trail in heaving sobs!

I’d like to untangle the memories of my mom, her death, from my run.  It’s the breath.  The breath is why I can’t do that yet.  She said, I can’t breathe.  And she couldn’t.  She couldn’t breathe.  I breathed for her.  Briefly.  Not for long.  But long enough to know.  My breath would not be enough for her.  I tried to breathe her back to life.  There wasn’t enough breath in me.  Running brings back that memory for me.  All I hear in my ears is my breath.  And it’s never going to be enough.

This entry was posted in My Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Runner’s Low

  1. Blue Sky says:

    I don’t know how long it has been since your mother died, but it has been my experience that it is a few months later when life goes back to normal for everyone else that it can really hit hard. When we lose someone we love, we don’t want the world to go on. We want it to stop and acknowledge this great void. It seems unfair to just skip over such a beautiful soul gone from this world. Doesn’t the universe know what it just lost? Grieving is such a lonely walk. What an incredible emptiness that gets left behind in you. The worse thing you could do, is to not feel your feelings or grieve. Maybe you could walk for awhile until the grip of this loss loosens a little?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2ndhalfolife says:

    Aw Doc….this is tough. I take it you might have had to do CPR on her? Ugh. But how beautiful really. You shared breath with your Mom. After all, when you were in utero, she ‘breathed’ for you for 9 months. This seems only fair that you shared O2 with her in the end. And of course, running would make you spill out your emotions! It’s meditation for those of us who use movement AS meditation. It’s OK. Use it. Grieving is good…and doing it during a time when you are participating in an activity you love would make Mom happy. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It seems to me that life is a series of losses, and you have explained the feeling so well. Your running will return in time. It seems that running is a meditation for you. “On on” (Hash House Harriers phrase).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bradley says:

    I’m very sorry. It is so difficult to lose a parent. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. I think a part of us dies too when a close loved one leaves this earthly world.. That is just my opinion and how I felt when my parents each died many years ago. I hope that time will help ease your grief.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. drugopinions says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss….but perhaps you haven’t lost her. She lives in you. You are the product of her lifetime love. Such beautiful description of the grieving process. I hope it will get better and you will run again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. V.J. says:

    What a beautiful and heartfelt description of grief – losing a parent is a significant loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. kathleendell says:

    That was so beautiful. It made me cry. You two obviously had tremendous love for each other. I have found that that is what comforts me the most when I miss my mom: I still have that love, and somehow, somewhere, she still loves me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, what a profoundly beautiful reflection on your grief and running. I feel for you, and hope that, in time, your runs will clear of those sitting tears..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Victo Dolore says:

    ((Hugs)) I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Each of us handle grief differently. I have lost both my parents, my sister and my brother. You never forget but if you know deep in your heart that your mom knew you loved her then there is no regret, tears, yes, emptiness, yes, that will take time to ease. I am so sorry for your loss and I can say with absolute understanding what you are feeling. You will never forget but you will eventually move forward because you know deep down your mom would want that. Take your time and don’t worry about what you look like on that running trail I am sure she is there trying to wipe the tears away. My mom passed 43 years ago and I still shed tears of love for her.
    This is one of the most beautiful tributes I have read in quite some time. Well don and Bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.