It is hard to know what to say about today. I canceled today’s lessons (swimming and riding). It felt chilly in the house, so it seemed to be time to check out the fireplace. After lighting it, the Christmas CD’s came out and filled the next few hours with music.
I don’t know if there was just a need to do some grieving, but that is what the day seemed to be about. I looked through some of the unread magazines that have been piling up, but much of the time was spent thinking about Mary Ann. I struggle with the images of what she went through. Selfishly, I still wish she was here. We were not into hugging that much over the years, but as things got more challenging, there was more hugging. Today, I just wanted to hold her again.
People in the Hospice Grief Support Group have often mentioned that the anticipation of anniversaries, birthdays, holidays is often worse than the day itself. Sister-in-Law JoAnn emailed today that she and her family were thinking of me and mentioned that she, too, found that anticipation was sometimes worse than the event itself. Maybe today’s grieving will take the pressure off tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day.
I suspect that some who read this might be wondering if it would be better not to put on the CD’s and allow the grief to bubble up to the surface. My choices of what to do today seemed to encourage feeling sorry for myself and sad for what Mary Ann went through. It has been over five months now. Shouldn’t I let go of the grief and just get on with life?
I don’t know. Maybe I should. I am not sure I have that choice at the moment. Would I be done with the grieving if I were stronger, had more faith? If someone else said to me about their grief process what I just said in these last few sentences, here is how I would respond:
You are getting on with your life and grieving at the same time. That is a good thing, painful, but healthy. To somehow let go of the grief is not a sign of strength. It takes more strength to walk through the grief than to run away from it. Taking time to let the grief run its course, to reflect on it, to feel the sadness is a way for the grief to find a safe place to reside as a part of who you are becoming. It will always be there. By facing that openly it is less likely that the grief will produce unhealthy side effects, expressing itself in harmful ways.
Most of the time, I feel healthy emotionally, mentally, physically and Spiritually. I think being healthy includes the capacity to have down time, relapses, reflective times, painful times without the fear that they are some sort of sign of trouble.
Tonight was the Thanksgiving worship service. The message was powerful, the ritual meaningful. It is always good to see people that I know and care about. There were some young people back from school. That is a special treat for me, since I especially enjoy those relationships. It has also been meaningful to me that so many folks have cared enough to invite me to their place for Thanksgiving.
I do wonder if people in circumstances like mine ever get used to coming home to an empty house. The contrast is more striking when coming from a time and place where warm and meaningful relationships have been enjoyed. I am just grateful for the relationships.