Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Grief: Rambling Mind Still Broken Heart

I looked to see when I had last posted.  Too long a time ago.  For a many years after my husband died I stopped traveling. (I'm a little strange in that I don't consider going to London where I once lived or to my daughter's house outside of Boston as traveling.)  I just came back from North Korea, am going to Scotland and then in November - Israel.  Such an exciting life.  I don't feel like I'm the one who is living it.  Every morning I get up and try to make myself care about things.  I feel overwhelmed.  I feel sad.  I have some good times but I am weighed down still.  I am tired of feeling weighed down.  I am not usually depressed.  I hate the way if you are unhappy about something or you want to withdraw that you are labelled depressed.  I just find my life exceedingly difficult without my husband (and sometimes I found it difficult with him!).  I know I have a magical life and yes I am grateful for it but I still have a hard time caring about it.

I am depressed today because my daughter is doing what many daughters with daughters do - she is staking her claim to my granddaughter.  By that I mean she thinks I should butt out and never have an opinion. She yells at me and says unkind things that aren't true.  It doesn't matter what I do for her, what actions I take - she just doesn't feel like I love her.  The thing is I can't handle it.  I'm not going to never say anything as some people choose although I do keep my mouth closed often.  I have a brilliant relationship with Gwendy blue eyes and I'm not going to let go of that - for her and for me.  But I have no bounce back from personal attack.  I have no husband to turn to.  My friends support me but my heart just hurts.

I went into a store and I unfolded a sweater and apologized for not being to refold it properly.  The woman said - but I bet you are good at other things.  I said -Yes, I am.  She said - That's why we all need each other.  I smiled and thought - that's why I go out - that's why I show up - for moments like this.

I used to say to my husband, "This is too hard.  I can't do it any more."  Then he would hold me and I would feel better.  He didn't care if I did a lot or a little.  He just loved me.  When I am wounded it is wrong to say I have no place to go.  I have a lot of places to go - but I want him.

I read so many stories about people who survive so many deaths.  I just have one to survive and here I am in my sixth year of grieving whining on a bad day.  So many people have family members and friends be unkind to them when they most need support.  Why is that?  Is it smelling the blood of weakness that lets people go on attack?

I know this depression of today won't last.  I have many good things in my life and I will connect with it again.  My daughter and I are going to therapy.  I am thinking about writing her a letter - maybe if I list actions I have taken I will be able to reach her and let her know I love her.  The thing is - it didn't work when she was a child.  She was an angry child.  But she's 40 now and she's too old to be having temper tantrums at my expense.  I know this is common.  I don't care.  Since my husband died I don't feel safe. I never feel safe.

I like to write blog posts with shape and reason and poetry.  Maybe sometimes it is good to just ramble - to say I too have that black abyss I fall back into and have to scramble out again.  My Facebook page Grief Speaks Out has almost 500,000 likes and I help a lot of people all around the world.  They say I bring them comfort.  I don't know how to find that comfort myself in healthy ways.   I don't know how to care for me.

I care about my granddaughter - and I must care deeply about my daughter or her words wouldn't hurt me so much.  I care about my friends.  I care about people who are hurting.  Maybe the person I can't seem to care much about is me.  I'm feeling disconnected again.  I said that I don't heal from grief - I'll heal when I die.  That's a downer.

I'm going to get dressed and go out.  I'm taking care of business.  I have folks to hang out with before I leave on Monday.  Maybe I'll cheer up.  There's that part of me though that doesn't cheer up.  I was watching a commercial.  A grandmother that reminded me of myself was being driven around.  They stopped and she and her granddaughter got out of the car near a tree.  She said, "I met your grandpa for the first time under this tree."  Her granddaughter hugged the tree.  I started crying hysterically.  It turned out it was a car commercial.  I was crying at a stupid car commercial.  It made me laugh.  I don't feel like it is stepping backwards - it's just a grief day.  I don't like feeling this way.

Someone said you can't dance with grief - you can't make it your friend - you can only drown in it.  Even on a day like today I know that isn't true.  Part of my climbing the ladder up is getting out of the house.  Is taking to people.  Is trying to look and sound like a person.  The temptation is to say I am never happy.  That's not true.  Sometimes I am happy.  When I am happy is when I best honor my husband.

Oh gee whiz - I looked up at the TV that was on mute.  There is program about an old woman who is being scammed by some guy who is using her for her money.  Someone she met on Christian Mingle of all places. Well, we know I won't be that woman. How can people be so cruel as to take advantage of lonely widows?

My tour guide in North Korea is a handsome young screenwriter named Gabriel.  He gave me one of the best compliments I have ever had - he said, "When I grow up I want to be you."  There's the split. There's the me that is funny and creative that many people enjoy and many find generous and comforting.  Then there's the me that just is getting through each day with gritted teeth.

So today I give you no answers.  Only feelings.  What I know is that we share these feelings. For every falling down there is a getting up - for every being lost there is being found.

I hope today some of you are having a better day than I am.  I hope later I am having a better day.  Let's hold hands and hang on.  There are so many - seen and unseen - who walk with us. xo

1 comment:

  1. Hello Jan. I so wish there was some way I could help you feel better in the way you help me and so many others. When you write so openly and so eloquently, sharing your feelings with us, I wonder if you can feel us all nodding our heads and saying 'Oh yes, that IS just how it feels'?
    It's strange that we feel happy and yet not happy........not happy in the same way maybe.....I can't really imagine feeling that happy ever again.
    I hope your day did improve and something nice happened to lift your spirits. My little thing today was seeing a squirrel scrambling down a log and balancing to take a drink from the river, I hadn't seem that before and it made me smile especially as it happened near to one of Mark's favourite spots. Enjoy your travels. Sending love. Shirley x