Reflection

Reflection

Friday, March 14, 2014

Grief 101 ~ Is this it?

     I've been doing some reading about grief as I'm perplexed by my silent mood.  I'm not depressed or at least it doesn't feel like what depression sounds like.  Still, I can't fully shake this feeling that perpetually is here following me like a shadow.  

     Each morning before I rise I lay there hearing Stewie shake is collar and the tinkle of the dog tags tell me "Get up!".  The day begins and I pad quietly down the hall, dark with the change in time (of which I hate to lose that extra hour of sleep), let the pups out, wake the computer to see the new mail, let the pups in, feed them, let them out again, and then make Ryan's lunch.  Day in day out.  I can't help but think that while all the years of doing this haven't always been the same as some years it was rising to pick up a hungry baby, or being woken by the jumping on the bed of our children, or the running down the hall of little feet,  but it is I who rises in the early morning to begin the ritual of a day.

     Somehow this death of my mom has tip-toed in my thoughts of how many years I have before I too have aged and can no longer do this early rising.  I don't have plans this will happen and actually once that thought creeps in I firmly tell it to go away.  What is happening is the essence of accepting that time is ticking on whether I want it to or not.  My parents are gone.  The quiet is deep and these days it is a place I do not enter on any level.  It's not that I don't want to think it over in my head, I just can't even enter that place.  I can't tell if the door is locked or open it's so dark.  The other night I couldn't sleep and I got up to have a bowl of cereal, read the paper, then back to bed.  I had turned out the lights in the kitchen and going back to our bedroom it was pitch black.  I reached my hands out so I wouldn't bump the walls or furniture and softly felt my way down the long hall and back to bed.  That is the dark I feel.  I keep reaching out so that I don't bump myself.  Maybe I'm suppose to though.  Maybe if I bump myself the grieving will move forward and away.  I don't know.






   This was from a web site : http://www.connect.legacy.com/inspire/page/show?id=1984035%3APage%3A3305  called Legacy Connect.  The article was titled "The Work of Grief".  Yes, this made sense.  The opening paragraph explains this:

 
As a griever, you need to appreciate the fact that grief is work. It requires the expenditure of both physical and emotional energy. It is no less strenuous a task than digging a ditch or any other physical labor. The term “grief work” was coined by psychiatrist Erich Lindemann in 1944 to describe the tasks and processes that you must complete successfully in order to resolve your grief. The term shows that grief is something you must work at actively if you are to resolve it in a healthy fashion. It demands much more than merely passively experiencing your reactions to loss: you must actively do things and undertake specific courses of thought and action to integrate and resolve your grief.


 

 I read this and it felt like what I was feeling: 


 Sometimes the death of a loved one brings up not only grief for what you lost, but also grief for what you never had and now never will have. For example, if you had a very conflicted relationship with your mother, when she dies you may grieve not only for what you have lost, but also for the fact that you never had a better relationship with her, that she never was the kind of mother you wanted her to be, and that now you will never have even the hope that it could change and you could get what you want. In such a case you grieve for the past, present, and future.


  
How long will my grief last? 


In another article from Legacy.com I found this speaking of time.  Grief can be measured in Chronos time, as in weeks, months and years but also in Kairos time which is "The time within which personal life moves forward". 


What matters is kairos time. What insights have I had? What have I realized? What meaning am I making of this terrible loss? We each have our own “entelechy”—to use a term from anthropology—that means our own “immanent force controlling and directing development.”

Well this helps.  In some odd way then I don't have a date at which I will be over this grief.  I need to work through and seek my path, this journey of letting go of what I can not change.  Does this give me hope?  Yes.  Does this take pressure off of me?  Yes.  Is it easy? No.  I do better with directions and I'm unsure what will reveal itself as I "work through my grief".  




Friday, March 7, 2014

Topsy Turvy Days

I'm a bit topsy turvy these days.  Throw in a bit of lost, add some smiles, add some drifting daydreams, add time, stir gently and then pour slowly into bed at the end of the day.  Some days I forget to add more smiles, and I intend to blend in sweet memories that pop in my mind too, but there will be another day to do just that.

I'm amazed at times how tethered I was to my mom for the bulk of my life.  Without her here I have more time that I realized I would.  Perhaps it is only that since her passing I was thigh high in closing her home and busier that I expected.  Coming down from that frenzy just days before her home closed and everything needed to be out before the passing on of the house keys, I suppose I should have expected a let down physically and mentally.

It is good, really.  I'm good, really.  But I'm still sort of lost.  It's been years since the phone would ring multiple times of the day from my mom.  Odd calls that I think she just needed to hear a voice.  I'd like to think she needed to hear my voice but really I think she knew she could call me and say anything, critical or trivial, and I would be there on the other end of the line patient and polite.

I'm not sure of my thoughts or if I need to.  At times I feel like I'm emerging from a cocoon to be transformed with whatever possibilities I choose.  It's sort of scary too.  I'm not wanting to change "Me", I guess I just want to be me without the anxiety of waiting for the phone to ring, or trying to please my mom.  Seems silly thinking this way but even with her not being herself the last 3+ years, without her being able to call me or the inability to communicate at all, that presence of her was there.  Sometimes I'm still that little girl who is not confident in her own skin.

Overbearing parents, whether a mother or father, or God forbid both, is not to be taken lightly.  It isn't to say my mom was less loving because she could and was loving.  But other times it was more complicated.  If I could have one wish it would be for my parents, all of them, my dad who passed away in the mid 1980's, my papa who passed away in 1999 and now my mom to tell me me how they loved me. It would help even if I didn't like what they said.  I would like to ask my dad especially, why he didn't try to see my brother and I more, or to write or call us.  Why or what happened?    Did he ever think how we would feel because he didn't? I wish we had gotten to know each other, I wish I could remember him, how he hugged me when I was little. Did he play with me, read to me?

I wish Papa and Mom cared enough to explain the complications that might arise upon their passing.  How the heck can a loved one know how or what the process of closing an estate mean?  Why were we to be left in the dark only to feel more in the dark with each passing legal letter that comes in the mail?  I think I saw too many movies and read too many books where the attorney sits the whole family down and does the reading of the will.  He would be a kindly soul that would speak gently, clearly, and with sincere condolence to the family.  As with death the mystery of closure still drifts on.  All will be well.  I know this I just expected, and I guess there lies the problem, expecting, will go the opposite way of books or movies.  Legal ways are certainly more along the lines of the TV show "The Good Wife", as in how to make a legal blender of what can be said or written.  And because this is private, I can't explain other than it isn't just my family involved and therein lies the crux of this and the complication for us, and the slow process, and the lack of communication to us.  99% of the time I'm choosing to not let this effect me.  It will proceed.  

So why am I feeling topsy turvy then?  Because I'm adrift in becoming me.  It's a big year ahead.  My son, our last one with graduate this year and head off to college in the fall.  Another milestone.  I'll let this flow.....and all will be well.  I know this and feel this.  Whatever comes my way .....

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