Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grief: I Never Get Used To...

I never get used much.

I was warned.  The fifth year is tough.

I am trying to change how I feel by changing my language.  I have a good time now - often - when I do something I've planned but I never look forward to anything.  I miss out the fun of anticipating things.  My brain is not easy to train.  Or my heart.  I am sitting in a hotel room waiting for my daughter to pick me up to take me to her house.  (I didn't sleep there because they are remodeling things and I am allergic to dust etc...)  We are taking Gwendy blue eyes (my granddaughter) with us to London.  She is so excited.  She loves a cartoon character called Peppa Pig and we are going to Peppa Pig World.  A friend of mine guides at Hampton Court - the palace that Henry VIII built for Anne Boleyn.  She is going to make a treasure hunt for Gwendy there - and has a little costume for her to wear.  There's the zoo and much more.  For me - when they leave I'm going with another friend to see the Monty Python reunion and Bill Nighy in a play.  Then flying back to Boston for the fourth of July with Erin and Gwendy.

So why am I sitting here with a knotted ball of fear in my chest?  I got in yesterday thinking I would like a little time by myself  I couldn't stand it.  Artie wasn't here - of course not - I mean - he's been dead for almost five years.  When I travelled by myself the first thing I did when I got to a hotel room was call him to tell him I was okay - and to make sure he had my phone number and room number.  Love before cell phones! Five years of not being able to do a simple thing like call him and hear his voice. I turned on the TV and ate through the mini-bar.

I could have gone for a walk - I could have written about my feeling - I could have meditated - I could have made so many other choices.  My whole being just went  - I can't stand this - I have to go numb.

Those stupid grief triggers - grief bursts - grief attacks - assassin grief.  Whatever you want to call it.  Ouch.

When my daughter and granddaughter came over for dinner I had a lovely pillow fight with my granddaughter.  She brought me a stuffed animal to sleep with.  She told me a story about how we love each other and we miss each other and that if I didn't dream about frogs I would get a time out!!  So much fun.

But now - in the in between time - I am frightened of nothing.  They used to call it free floating anxiety.  I don't know what they call it now.  I'm not in my familiar place.  I've left all my "Artie" things at home.  I took a picture of his picture.  Can't take a picture of him any more - so took the picture of his picture.  Self pity...a skill I really don't need.

If it was someone else I would have all kinds of good things to suggest.  Dark and light.  Sadness and joy.  Take tender care of yourself.  Sometimes it all feels like blah blah blah.

I will have a good time.  Somehow that doesn't help in the in between time.  There is that time when the layer of sadness and loss and ache and stumbling around rises to the top and covers everything else.  I wish I handled it better when that happens.  I do.  Some times.  Some times I don't. I go...taking my grief with me on more adventures.

Nothing fills that missing piece.  The place where my husband used to be.  He has moved out of town and I have to wait to join him.  He didn't move away because he wanted to.  He is still with me in a lot of ways.

It is not enough.  Some moments I just can't handle it.  Maybe that is okay.  Maybe next time I can handle it without the chocolate chip cookies!   or not.  I can remind myself what I am reminding myself of now...soon I will have another layer of me taking a turn.  The waiting lasts forever (or so it seems) but my sadness doesn't have to.  By the time you finish reading this I may be somewhere smiling or laughing.

Show up.  Take a chance.  Don't let the dark side of my grief win...take it out to explore the world.  Off I go...if not right now...soon..  xo

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I hope you are somewhere smiling! Thank you for sharing so much, I am only just over a year down the line and I worry that I am not dealing with this well, on the surface I am but underneath :(. Then I read your post and I realise that this is ok, I don't have to feel bad about missing my man so much or feeling the need to carry on grieving for him. I get the impression from lots of people (including my counsellor) that I need to pack Mark away in a little box and get him out now and again, eventually not needing to do even that and this way I can get on with my life but you let me see that I don't need to do that at all.......and that makes me feel so much better. Sorry for waffling on but I just wanted to let you know how much you help me. Have a wonderful time in London and I have to say I am very envious Monty Python AND Bill Nighy! Thank you. Shirley x