Grief, the End of November, NaNoWriMo and #writemotivation

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

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
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
the laughter
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,
a love
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?

let’s make it a half nano

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!

8 thoughts on “Grief, the End of November, NaNoWriMo and #writemotivation

  1. Yeah, that’s how grief works. My step-father passed away 15 years ago and I still have moments where I stop and get sad because someone important is missing. It gets better, but it won’t ever go away, but that’s ok.

    We have a picture of my stepfather in a frame with the following poem under it.

    As for your goals. You did awesome considering what happened this month. All the *hugs* and healing thoughts to you and your family.

  2. Have you lost someone recently that I didn’t know about? I’m sorry for your loss even if it wasn’t recently. My rough time is January. We have lost 3 parents and 2 grandparents in January. I’m always glad when the month has passed. Thanks for all your helpful suggestions tonight. HN

    1. Winter is always the worst for loss, I think. Yes, we did lose Tim’s mom this month. She was close to everyone in the family, the kids especially.

      And you’re very welcome. I’m so glad you’ve joined our group. You add a wonderful vibe – with edginess. 🙂

  3. *hugs* I’m so glad you were able to come to a write-in, but I’m sorry the month went downhill from there for your family :(. We missed you at the TGIO!

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m impressed you were able to do so well on your goals, but then again, writing can be a way to deal with grief. Either as a release to get some of that pain out on the page or as an escape to a world of your own making where you have control over the events that we so often lack in real life. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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