Thursday, May 19, 2011

Grief: Moving Forward, Backward and Upside Down!

I'm sorry it has been so long between posts.  Working on my solo show Pull Me Back was all consuming for a while.  I performed it on May 14th and was delighted and surprised to have an almost full house and to get a standing ovation.  It is about my relationship with my husband - the good and the bad - his dying at home - my grief and survival.  It is funny and sad and what I am proud of is that I followed through, showed up and performed it.  I will be making DVDs of it for folks who couldn't come and that is another process that will be more difficult than I originally thought.  I'm not sure if I will be performing it again - but it touched a lot of people and I will pursue opportunities if they arise.  I wanted people to know about grief - that it doesn't magically disappear - that you can live a full life after having someone you love die but the sadness stays with you.  I also wanted people to meet Artie.  It is fun that a lot of folks who never met him feel he is a strong presence in their lives after seeing the show or hearing my stories.  I keep him alive and yet he is still dead.

I am so lucky in so many ways and am grateful for my friends and loved ones.  My daughter is pregnant and I was glad that she came for the show and stayed a while.  Things have changed so much.  Even though her baby to be is only 8 weeks along she has a sonogram picture of it.  It was nice having her and very sad for me when she went back to Seattle.  We had fun shopping for maternity clothes for her together.

I am going to Leeds, England this weekend for another therapy/learning experience.  The thing is I am having trouble absorbing all of the praise and joy and love.  I miss Artie so much.  When everyone went home yesterday I was glad to curl up in bed and be alone and yet I hated curling up in bed without my husband.  It was time to share all these good things with him.  I know he is watching me with a smile but that is different than having him here.  How weird is that?  To do a show about the death of my husband and at the same time think there would be a way he could come and see it!!

I feel like I am moving forward and standing still at the same time.  Like treading water.  You have to keep moving just to stay in the same place. 

When I was thinking about suicide this was when I was going to do it - after the show.  Now that I have decided to live because it is my job and my responsibility to stay alive until it is the proper time to go - I am still looking for ways not to wake up thinking, o dear, not another day - but to wake up with enthusiasm.  All the fun and good times and good work don't touch the space that misses my husband.  I don't know how to do that.  But I'm so tired and bored of hearing myself whine!  My daughter is very excited about the baby but is nauseous all the time and is having trouble with 24 hour morning sickness.  Maybe that is what I have - excitement about the good things in my life but also 24 hour mourning sickness!!

Hope I learn some new things this weekend.  I want to love life like Artie loved life but don't tell anyone - the secret is - what I really want is to take a plane not to England but to wherever Artie is.  Odd that one person makes everything else so impossible even while it is also so fabulous.

I am a little ball of confusion!   I dedicated the show to all grief warriors.  May we have courage and also, in spite of our sadness, joy.  xo

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