Sunday, January 1, 2012

Grief: What Story Will You Create for 2012?

Report on last night:  Okay up until a little after midnight.  With my daughter and granddaughter.  Watched the ball come down in Times Square.  Holding my lovely grand baby and my daughter says, "Are you crying."  I say, "Yup. It's a hard night for me."  Another new year without Artie.  Happy and sad.  Even though it was only two blocks my daughter was kind enough to put the baby in the car seat and drive me to my little apartment near her house.  I didn't want to walk past anyone holding hands or risk having anyone saying Happy New Years.  I ate cold Chinese food and went to sleep.

This morning I didn't want to get up.  Kept going back to sleep.  Then I forced myself up and started moving.

I like the idea of start as you mean to go on so I had a healthy breakfast.  Then I answered some e-mails and went on Facebook.  I want to write a poem and maybe a book page or two before I go back to lovely daughter and baby land.  I have a friend that says when you live in your head you live in a very bad neighborhood.  She's so right.  Pain feeds on itself.  I still miss Artie.  I'm still lonely but I feel better now.

When I was on FB I looked at the page of young woman I have been trying to help who is locked into her pain.  Her new year's comment was "Same shit, different year."  It was a lesson for me.  It's my job to make it different.  I usually try to be supportive of her wherever she is but this morning I challenged her to create a new story for herself.  I challenge myself to do that every day.  I leave room for all the pain - but if that's all I have - I have nothing.  That question - and what else?  I don't want to get stuck in the place where the only color is black - even though I love black.  There's a whole rainbow of experiences out there.  I have choices.  I will always make ones are escapist.  I will snuggle in and stop everything.  I have to also make ones that put me back in the world.   It's my light, it's Artie's light.  How can I feel good about myself if I never let them shine?

So, start as you mean to go on.  Do one thing today - in the real world - or in you imagination - that has to do with being fully alive.  I'll challenge you as I've challenged this young girl and then myself.  Find one thing to celebrate today.  One thing to be grateful for.

Also, be gentle with yourself.  It's a new year rushing in - one moment at a time.  When it's 2013 what will I have to look back on?  A lot of things are out of my control (damn!) but a lot of things aren't.  So much of me wants to shut down.  What if I don't let that part win?  What if this year I open up more than I did last year.  Watch this space.  xo

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