Friday, December 30, 2011

Grief: Preparing for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day

First the tough part.  Damn, I'm lonely, sad and angry.  I miss my husband! I love my daughter, my brand new granddaughter, and my friends.  None of that makes up for the fact that another year is starting and my husband is still dead.  Gwendolyn, my grandbaby, is fussing a little right now.  She is loved, warm, clean, well fed, and has a pacifier.  She wants to be held.  Me too!   I don't want to be pacified.  I want to be held by my husband.  No can do.  I can be held in his spiritual arms but it's not enough right now.  I just picked Gwendolyn up and put some music on.  She's happy again.  Am I a big baby?  You betcha!

But this year I have learned to ask:  And WHAT ELSE?

Showing up.  I was trying to decide if I should stay in my own apartment with my teddy bear and Artie's Yankee jacket on New Year's Eve - read a book and feel sorry for myself.  I decided that I would show up and spend time with my little family.  I can do that AND feel sorry for myself.  There's time for both.  Emotional multi-tasking.  :)

Rolling my memories backwards.  Artie never liked New Year's Eve that much.  As a recovering alcoholic it seemed that everyone got to get drunk except him.  One year I put post-it notes over all of the clocks and we watched Monty Python movies all night   We never even knew when midnight was.  Then we started watching the ball come down in Times Square.  He usually had to pee right around midnight,  Ah well.  It was part of a ritual that irritated me then but that I laugh at now..  I can always be with my husband in my memories and my imagination.  I love you Artie!

Another thing is something that I thought of last year.  New Year's Resolutions for me are a recipe for failure.  I don't want to think about what I need to accomplish in the future.  That's too easy for me.  I look at what is lacking much to easily.  I have a powerful self critic.  So, instead I make a New Year's Gratitude list.  I look at the past year and list things I am grateful for and things I am proud of.  It allows me to go forward into 2012 with a good feeling in my heart and a shield against facing yet another year without my husband.

What do I put on my list?  Accomplishments:  big ones like writing this blog, doing storytelling, exercising.  Little ones: like going out for five minutes when I didn't feel like it, doing the laundry when I didn't care.  Things I'm grateful for:  big ones like the years I spent with Artie, my daughter, my granddaughter, my friends.  Little ones: like the color of a leaf in the fall, elephant babies, soft fabric, a kind word from a stranger.  Funny ones:  I'm SO grateful for indoor plumbing.  I'm grateful for snarky people.  Every time I think I'm finished I ask that question:  and what else?

Okay, so I didn't write the book yet.  I'm still fat.  I watch too many DVDs. Where does all that stuff go?  On my forgiveness list.  Forgive yourself for what you haven't done and go forward into the new year with a sense of possibility.  If you did everything this year what would you do next year?

Support.  I like Facebook - but there are a lot of web sites.  I can read what other people are posting and writing.  I can look for people who are in more trouble than I am - or facing the same thing and e-mail them or post on a site.  i can focus outwards instead of inwards.

So...there is time for as many meltdowns as my psyche needs -  and also time for much much more.

I've put Gwendolyn in the car seat and am rocking it with my foot.  She seems to have forgotten that she wants other things and has fallen asleep. Grief is our new baby.  It fusses and demands all our attention. We have to constantly look for ways to soothe it so we are free to do other things.

For New Year's Eve I wish you moments of peace and joy.  Moments that will make the people (and/or pets) that have died smile with you.  Maybe even laugh at you.  They have lost their earthly bodies but we haven't.  I know how much my husband loved life.  He wants me to love life too.

For 2012 I wish you a year full of much much more.  You're pain is real.  I had lunch with someone I met for the first time.  He looked at me and said, "Your husband's death causes you a lot of pain."  It was  so nice to have him acknowledge that part of me.  Then we could go on and laugh and share interesting stories.  2012 is a whole new year for you to create stories, memories, and special moments.  Be inspired by your love as well as saddened by the death of your beloved.  Find a way to rock your own cradle.

We are grief warriors!  We have survived another year.  That means we are fabulous and brilliant and even if we feel dull - we aren't - we shine!   xo

No comments:

Post a Comment