Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grief: Taking Care of Yourself

I am calling September fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning.  The good part:  I am trying to take better care of myself - physically and emotionally.  The difficult part:  I get a gold star for procrastination!

I am looking for new ways to take care of myself physically.  I have started to do Rolfing which is a kind of bodywork.  I like Beth very much.  She is my age and understands that sometimes age (I'm 60) brings pain.  I'm trying to limit the amount of pain my body has from not eating well and from surgeries I have had.  I also have a young person who does yoga and something called ART and another technique that is deep tissue work to try to break up the adhesions (scar tissue) from past surgeries.  Ouch.  I'm going to stick with it for a while but I feel that she is less understanding about what it is like to be me.  It makes me regret the times that I wasn't as sympathetic to my husband as I might have been.  He was older that I was and I didn't always get how much pain he was in.  I especially didn't get that he had cancer.  When I see the last film I took of him it is obvious he has cancer (even though his doctor was telling him he was fine).  I thought the way he looked was a result of old age.  Interesting, whenever I talk about me I wind up talking about Artie.  Even after two years we are so connected in my mind.  Is that good or not good.  Don't know. It just is.  I miss him. 

The important difference is that now I am doing these things for me.  How to develop the desire to look good for me without the pang that I won't hear Artie say, "You look beautiful."  How to do difficult things without having his hugs waiting for me when I get home.  I've talked about the fear of being in hospital without him but even coming home from the dentist is difficult.  So many loving people in my life and yet missing that one special one.  People don't always think about how when our spouse dies we lose our cuddler, our back rubber, our favorite smile, our private jokes. Other people give me a lot of joy, but it's not the same.

I'm also trying to have amnesia for sugar!   My body doesn't carry extra weight like it used to.  If I do date again my chances will increase if my body is fit.  There's still a big question mark on that one.  Am I hugging my hurt and loneliness too close?  Is there room for Artie and another man as well - a living one?  Watch this space.

I getting a calendar set up for the next few months.  I hope that if I write down specific times for listening to hypnosis tapes, writing, submitting, practicing my storytelling, exercising etc... I will be more likely to do them.  Every day I want to do at least one thing that makes me feel proud.  After two years I am trying to do more than one thing - get out in the world more.  Do things even if I am frightened or uncomfortable.  I am a capable, intelligent, creative woman.  I need to hide a little but not as much as I do now.  With the therapy and other things I have done I am more careful with my language.  There is a phrase - negative hallucination.  When I think of what to do during my day I can create a negative hallucination of a weak woman who cannot live fully as a widow or I can picture myself being strong and living fully.  It's up to me.  I'll still have sad old bad old days but I want them to be less.  I do schedule time to be sad.  I will lie down and hit the alarm for 10 minutes and spend that time with my grief.  If I ignore it completely it overwhelms me.  Sometimes I need more than 10 minutes but I am trying not to let it permeate my whole day. 

Yet, still Artie Artie Artie.  It amazes me how someone who is dead can be so much a part of my life.  There are no new stories, no new memories.  He is dead.  Yet in my mind he lives and I think about him and talk about him all the time.  When I dream, however, I am always searching for him and I can't find him.  Trying to find a way to have my dream life be happier.  I think that will make waking up a little easier.

My life is like this blog - I start with a plan and then I wander off in a lot of different directions.  I would like to develop more focus so that I can accomplish more.  I'm not going to say everything was a straight line when Artie was alive.  It was tangled then too.  However, I used to curl into his arms and tell him it was the only place I felt alive and safe.  Now I must create a world where I take care of myself (with my friends, my daughter, and in December my brand new granddaughter).  I must create a world where I am alive and safe and can let my light shine even though I don't have those arms to curl into anymore.  I still stand on the shoulders of our love. 

I read a blog once where the person writing it said after two years he wasn't going to write any more.  He was going back into the land of the living.  I am in the world of the living and in the world of the dead.  I think that is okay but sometimes I wonder if my beloved ghost wants me to stay with him or wants me take advantage of every aspect of life.  I don't know. 

That's my Saturday morning.  More questions than answers.  Maybe that's a good thing.  Maybe answers limit possibilities.  It's Labor Day Weekend.  I hope you find time during these days to take care of yourself.  I don't have family events.  If you do - I hope you can celebrate the memory of how they were when your loved person was physically there with you without feeling too sad that they live in another space/time now.  Remember, sad or happy - that you CAN take care of yourself - or if you can't - you can find a way to hold yourself, accept yourself until you can - maybe sooner than you think.  Maybe even my procrastination is over before I am aware that it is gone.  xo

1 comment:

  1. wonderful, just wonderful. yes, it's like THAT.
    xxoo Sue