Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Grief: The Courage to Go On

I was going to call this post Overwhelmed and Underhugged.  That's how I feel.  Then I saw a Winston Churchill quote, "Success is not final.  Failure is not final.  It is the courage to continue that counts."  Here we are.  In whatever way we can we are continuing.  We have experienced the death or loss of someone we held most precious and still we are striving to be.  We are alive.

I am overwhelmed with the day to day stress of dealing with people who lie and cheat or who just make things difficult.  I bought a new apartment and was lied to by my real estate agent and the lawyer she recommended.  I am dealing with all the confusion of having a money pit that will some day be a home.  They are gutting the restaurant I live over now so I listen to drilling from 9-4 every day when I might try to find a space to relax.  The list goes on.  I'm still doing what needs to be done but without a certain kind of grace.  I cry sometimes and curse sometimes.  I need Artie to help me find my way.  I can find my way myself.  I want Artie to help me find my way and then comfort me when it gets overwhelming.  I am underhugged because they aren't Artie's hugs.  You know.  It might be a child or a parent or a loved one or a sibling or a pet or anyone I am leaving out.  I am always underhugged because as many wonderful hugs as I get they aren't Artie's.

Over three years and I can't get used to walking in the front door after a stressful day and not having those eyes look into mine with love and understanding.  "Hi honey.  I'm home.  I love you."  I still say to his pictures.  The ones of him when he was young and healthy before the cancer got him.  I know that's the way he would want me to think of him.  I can't get used to it maybe because I don't want to get used to it.

I am working on what I said before.  I am trying to focus more on the things that make me happy.  There was a friend who betrayed me personally and in a business deal.  I was thinking of trying to get an important concession from her and decided it wasn't worth it.  I am better off spending my time being with people who are kind.  I spent some good time with my daughter and granddaughter.  I have a very special friend coming in to see me this weekend.  I want to forget everything else and be totally present with her. 

Sometimes all that good paying attention falls away and I am back in the feeling that it's too hard.  I can't cope.  That's how I'm coping by not coping!  I cancelled exercise until January.  I am making my schedule as open as possible to have time to maybe finally get to writing, to spend time being a grandmother, and to handle all these apartment details so hopefully I can actually move in before the end of the year.

If success isn't final then I have to decide what success means for me and strive to have a taste of it every day.  If failure isn't final I don't have to worry so much about failing - I can turn things around.  If having the courage to continue is what counts, that's what I'm doing.  Continuing.  Maybe in an awkward upside down crooked kind of fashion but continuing all the same.  Being me.  Making the things happen that I can make happen.  Trying to get out of my own way to allow more happiness and more peace in. 

The world isn't going to change.  I can make little spaces in it to touch someone else and make them smile.  I can make little spaces in it to curl up and find rest.  I don't really have to decide anything right now.  Maybe it's not so bad being me.  If I keep looking in the right directions I will keep finding new things. 

We continue on together.  It doesn't matter our political party, our country, our religious beliefs.  We have our grief in common and our joy.  We can fill each other's cup with the courage to continue when we feel ours is running low.  Ok.  Tomorrow.  Bring it on!   I'm ready for something to be easy.  I'm ready for something to go the way I think it should go.  I'm ready for my husband's hugs that are always there - I have to figure out to feel them when they don't have his arms any more.  I can breathe with that thought.  xo

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