Saturday, January 8, 2011

Grief: Is Every Day A Memorial Day?

I have been having some what I called in another post "Free Refills".  I am doing all the things I can think of to get moving and feel better and groan moan gosh darn can't even say how the elevator goes down much more easily than it goes up.  I had stopped counting the days since Artie died but Jan. 17th it will be a year and a half.  My body is telling me that.  My spirit is telling me that.  A lot of people say the second year is the hardest.  I want to wake up and say "Hooray" instead of "NO! Please NO!" 

My daughter had to put her dog to sleep and she is grieving for him the way I first grieved for Artie - constant tears - not wanting to go into her beautiful house because it is so empty and quiet.  They were constant companions for 11 years and as I try to hold her grief I think of my own.  Some people don't consider a pet like a person - but for my daughter her dog was her best friend.  There is no way for me to comfort her except to be there for her.  I like to picture that her dog is playing now somewhere with Artie - that there is some place we cannot even imagine where the spirits of all are gathered for the next step on the journey.  It is so selfish of me to wish that I was already there. 

I remember how sad Artie was in his last couple of years when three of his best friends died.  A man at one of the funerals came up to us - we didn't even know him - said, "There's nobody left." and then walked away again.  I am lucky I have so many people left - and new people coming in.  I am missing one person and yet the absence of that one person sometimes seems to fill my whole world.  It's like the world is a sieve - all the good and happy moments seep out and only the grief stays.

Artie used to call me a malcontent - there is actually a misery gene - which I seem to have - but I fight it - oh how I fight it.  Yesterday I went out into the snow.  Some of you saw this on Facebook - I was on a subway train and a man walked in with a very nice face but he was carrying a bag with a long sharp saw blade sticking out.  I kept staring at the bag.  Finally I said - "I've been watching too many murder mysteries."  Everyone laughed.  How can such a funny person and such a sad person exist in the same body?  I even went to the gym.  Lazy old me likes going to the gym now.  That means change is possible for sure!!

Today I am trying a losing weight challenge meet-up group.  Did work a little on a couple of new stories to tell and start a new storytelling class tomorrow. My goal there - in addition to working on my storytelling skills - is not to hide in the corner but try to be friendly with people.  I have this outrageous personality and love being on stage - but one to one I am very shy and awkward.  Artie and I used to say we were neurotic about different things but between us we had everything covered.  :)

The truth is I am getting bored spending so much time hiding in bed watching DVDs.  I want to want to be more involved in life and less stuck.  I took a few of Artie's things and put them in the closet but my bedroom still looks like Artie Land.  The problem isn't really the bedroom - it's my heart and soul and brain are Artie Land.  I need to patch the holes where all the happiness and good times are leaking out and keep them in.  I have to be big enough to hold it all - my tears for Artie's death, my love for him, the joy we had together, and all the new joyous experiences and accomplishments I can have if I - well - it's simple really - if I get out of bed and do things.  Not all the time.  More time.  More time with the living - less time trying to be dead because Artie is.

Here's to living life the way our loved ones would want us to - to triumphing over pain - to being glad to be alive - and especially - this part is easy for me - to be grateful and happy that I have this great love.  I would rather have that than to have less grief because I had and have less love. 

Thank you to all of you who share my journey and read this.  I am trying to publicize it a little more.  Feel free to share the link with anyone you think it might help - feel free to share my e-mail as well.

Time to get dressed and go out into the world - and pay attention to what is outside not what is inside - to what is there - not what is missing.  Artie will come with me - he always does.   xo

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