Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Grief: Tis the season to be whoever you are and feel whatever you feel

Another bits and pieces ramble.  I'm standing in front of book store and there is a book called "Eloise in Moscow."  For those of you who don't know - "Eloise at the Plaza" is a famous book about a little girl who lives at the Plaza Hotel in NYC.  I had no idea there was one about her in Moscow.  But - on the shelf below there is a book with two guys on the cover called Mike and Mike.  I can't stop looking at it.  Who are Mike and Mike?  I've blocked it out.  They do a sports show that my husband Artie used to love to watch.  I would even yell at him because sometimes he would get up early to watch it and I wanted him to stay in bed with me.  My conscious mind was trying to block out the association but my unconscious mind wouldn't let me.  I almost started crying.  It was all I could do not to buy him the book.  I didn't go into the store at all in order not to buy him the book.  I kept saying to myself (it's NYC folks - I could have said it out loud) "You don't buy presents for dead people.  You don't buy presents for dead people."  Oh, how I wanted to.  The part of me that wants him to still be alive.  The part of me that thinks that somehow his spirit that is so close to me would be able to open a present. 

That's why it's so important in my philosophy to allow ourselves to be who we are.  I'm not crazy.  If you've had someone you love die - you understand.  I had this sudden rush of sadness and desire.  Sure there's lots of lights and tinsel and pretty things and I can enjoy them when I enjoy them but if I see a couple holding hands and I feel sad or angry that's okay too.

There's another part to this.  I like a good (and that's very important because there are not good ones out there) hypnotherapist who knows NLP and Ericksonian hynosis because they can help reach down into your unconscious/subconscious and help change your focus so you don't get stuck in the miserable places - which believe me - is easy for me to do.  While this man was doing trancework - and for those of you who aren't familiar with this 1. We go in and out of trance all the time - any time you're watching TV or reading a book and your mind drifts off - that's trance.  It's nothing mysterious.  The trick is learning how to use it instead of having it come and go.  2.  You won't do anything in trance that you don't want to .  Those folks who cluck like chickens want to cluck like chickens.  If you ever are with someone and you feel uncomfortable you shouldn't be there.  If someone suggests something as simple as closing your eyes and you don't want to - keep them open.  If the person knows what they are doing it won't bother them.  Whew.  That was a run on sentence.  While this man was doing trancework with me some of the suggestions he was making had to do with letting the positive in, asking better questions, greeting the morning like the birds do with song, stepping out of time into a different place, a differnt feeling.  All of this was tailored to me.  The object wasn't to recover from my grief or cover up my feeling.  It was to feel what I am feeling and then change my focus.

Here's an experiment he did with me the first session.  He asked me to look around the room and notice what was made of metal.  Then he asked me to close my eyes.  He asked me, "What's blue in the room?"  I had no idea.  I hadn't been looking for blue.  There were a lot of blue things in the room.  So...if I'm only observing the things that make me sad - and boy do I have a list of them - then I'm missing all the other colors and feelings.

This year I've chosen to spend the holidays alone.  I love that people have happy intact families.  I don't want to be around that this year.  I'm trying to figure out how to have a new relationship with Artie.  Relationships change all the time.  I don't have to let him go.  I still like having a husband ghost.  However I want to love him and feel his spirit and his love in a way that doesn't make me miserable but makes me content.  I think crying is going to be part of it.  Hey - when he was alive there was crying.  Why should it stop now? :)  We loved each other deeply but it wasn't perfect.  I'm going to ask the questions that let me feel  the comfort of his love.  I'm going to ask the questions that let me feel  the strength of our love.  I want to see the blue in the room.

The question form is:  When did I feel comfortable?....(or happy or whatever you choose)  Why did that make me comfortable?...(or happy or whatever you choose)  How did that feel?  Then try to bathe in the feeling or step into it like a new suit of clothes. It could be something that happened today or a memory.  It's a technique to help you find again what you already have but imagine you have lost.  A lost and found where all needed things can be found.

New Year's Eve - however - I am going to see the comedian Sandra Bernhard with my friend Claire who is Irish and has a lovely dark sense of humor.  She makes me laugh and I can tell her as many Artie stories as I want - or don't want.  I don't think I'll cry - but if I do - she won't mind.  I'm calling it Widow Warner takes back the night.

That's what I wish for all of you - the time and space to be and feel who you are - and to be accepted and loved for being that person.  Don't miss the blue in the room!  Remember - we are grief warriors.  xo

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