Grief can hit you at the strangest times. You think you’ve got a handle on it; you’ve been through the worst parts. You survived the funeral, the graveside service, the well-wishers’ comments – all with minimal tissue involvement. After all, this loss was not totally unexpected. On some level, you’re relieved she’s no longer suffering – no longer lost. You’re not a callous person; you do feel sad, empty inside even, but you’re able to function without falling apart.
Then a few weeks pass and you’re making dinner using a recipe given to you by the person you lost or, like my husband, you’re at work passing out medication for an Alzheimer’s patient when you realize it’s the same drug your mother was taking – Bam! You’re weeping uncontrollably in a heap on the floor.
It’s always the little things that get you in the end.
Those small moments we share – making dinner together, taking care of each other when we’re sick, the silly moments every family has – they mean so much. I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a Thanksgiving more than I have this year, when it felt like there was something off kilter; wrong. It took my slow grieving brain all week to figure out that it was because there was someone important missing.
So for those of you who’ve endured more hugs from me than normal or weepy phone calls or even silence because I couldn’t find the right words…thank you and I love you.
And I’m sure I’ll be more myself eventually. To help me with this, I’ve turned to things like poetry. Here’s a great one.
“Heavy,” by Mary Oliver
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
I went closer,
and I did not die.
had his hand in this,
as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,
was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
“It’s not the weight you carry
but how you carry it –
books, bricks, grief –
it’s all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it
when you cannot, and would not,
put it down.”
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?
Have you heard
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?
How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe
also troubled –
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
to which there is no reply?
Somehow I did actually find time for writing amidst the emotional upheaval this week. So let’s just look over those writing goals, shall we?
Here are my #writemotivation goals:
1. Write at least 12,000 words on nanowrimo project each week. It looks like I may actually make it to a half NaNo – 25,000 words – by the end of November. That’s not bad, considering. Almost good, even.
2. Write blog post at least once a week. Yay! One goal met.
3. Read and comment on other blogs. I did better, but still room for improvement.
4. Exercise four times a week. Muscles are aching so we’re back in the game – well, more like we’ve had a great couple of practices and if some of the key players are injured, THEN we’ll be back in the game. (Too much of a stretch?)
On a final note, the long awaited Jerry Bennett interview will post this week! Stay tuned!