Friday, January 27, 2012

Grief: On Being Sad

What would be my 16th wedding anniversary, my 26th year of loving Artie isn't until next Friday.  Valentine's Day is over two weeks away.  Why am I sad today?  Not little sad like I am a lot of the time but BIG BIG VERY BIG sad.  I'm supposed to be living today today and I'm not. My present is full of the loss of my past. Not just in my mind, in my body as well. I wake up every night at around 2 am. I am so wide awake I get up and do things for a couple of hours.  Then I go back to sleep and wake up - of course - tired.

I'm not really BIG sad all the time.  I did my exercise with a friend (ouch).  I had lunch with another friend.  She works for Rosie's Theatre Kids which is incredibly inspiring.  I always thought it was just singing and dancing and acting lessons for kids interested in theater but these children are supported academically and socially as well.  It opens doors for children who come from places where doors are usually slammed in their faces.  It's exciting to hear their stories.  Not all of them succeed. Many of them do.  Whether they have careers in theatre or not they get into good high schools and then college.  I love that there are people out there taking action that changes lives.  So, even in the middle of my BIG sad I had fun today.

I'm not one to feel guilty about things.  I've learned to observe my behaviour - ask those questions - isn't it interesting, isn't it curious - that I'm behaving a certain way and see if I can find a process for change.  However I am feeling a little guilty about being sad when I have so much.  I am grateful for what I have.  There are folks out there who have very difficult lives.  Mine isn't.  The thing is, no one and nothing is Artie.  Even after all this time I haven't figured out how not to be sad about that.  When I am busy doing something alone or with someone else I don't think about the sad part.  Then it is time to stop.  Then the silence comes.  The one person I want to be with is dead. There was an exercise I was doing that Alex said was good for my heart chakra.  I said, "My broken heart chakra."  He said, "That's right."  

In Artie's life I was the most important person, in my life he was the most important person.  I miss that.  All my friends have things to do.  They should.  My daughter now has her daughter.  She should.  I have me and my memories and pictures and ashes and a teddy bear he gave me named Pooky.  I can't get used to it.

I was walking down the street on the way home and there was a man walking with a woman.  They had their arms around each other and big smiles on their faces.  He was carrying brightly colored tulips.  I don't know where he found tulips in February.  I smiled when I saw them.  I miss that.  It was nice that I could smile.  When Artie first died I would have hated them.

Here's the good part. I got some lovely pictures of my adorable grandbaby.  My daughter and I get along better than we ever have.  I went to all my exercise appointments this week.  I spent time with friends.  I took care of things I needed to.  I even cleaned up a little. I'm writing the blog and maybe some other things too. Here's an amazing good part.  I am going to have a podcast and appear in some storytelling shows.  Here's the difficult part.  I'm still feeling that BIG SAD.  I want to share all these things with Artie.  I need his advice.  I need his laughter.  I need him to hold me. 

I said when I started to write the blog that I would be honest or there would be no point in writing it.  It's one of those bad old sad old days.  It just is.  Where am I going with this?  Maybe to the point that it's okay.  It's not a disorder or a syndrome.  It's me grieving.  I have the right to grieve as long as I want to.  I don't have to put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine.  I have the right to be sad that the man I love - that has had the best part of my heart - for 26 years is no longer alive. 

Here's the funny part.  I am feeling disconnected from life today and my computer keeps disconnecting me.  I am in the middle of a word and the computer says, "Good-bye" and I sign back on and then the computer says, "Good-bye" and I sign back on.  Isn't that what it's all about?  Signing back on over and over again until it's time for me to be finished.  It's not time yet for me to be finished. 

Steven King in his new novel uses a phrase "pity fishing".  I love it.  It makes me laugh.  Is this whole blog piece pity fishing? No. I don't want pity, I want understanding.  How lucky am I that along with this BIG SAD I have people who understand how I feel.  Maybe tomorrow - or even later tonight the BIG SAD will turn into a BIG GLAD.  Sometimes that happiness thing is knocking very loudly on the door and all I have to do is remember to leave the door open so the happiness can get in. Thank you for understanding.  Don't forget to keep your happiness door open and remind me when you do to open mine.  xo

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