Into my third month of grieving the death of my husband, Russell, I find the ebb and flow of the grieving process to continue to be tumultuous at best. I have days that I am rocking and rolling – getting things done, moving through my day with a fairly clear head, able to have conversations and remember them at the end of the day. On these days I breathe deeply; I smile more than I sigh with sadness; I reach out to friends and family; I feel hope infusing my being. But these days still remain fairly fleeting and it is a challenge to figure out to stay in these moments for more than one day at at time.
One rocking and rolling day is often followed by 1-3 days of a muddied, foggy mind and body. This week my entire body decided it just needed to shut down. A migraine started early Wednesday morning and only completely released its’ grip a few hours ago. I have no doubt that the fact that I’ve been alone in my house since Tuesday evening played much into my mind and body taking control and saying “No more. You will let go of the tight grip of control you’ve been maintaining and just feel it all – the pain, the sadness, the loss, the deep and ever prevalent missing of Russell. This is your chance, in the quiet solitude of being alone for the first time since his death, to remember, to just experience your grief as mourning wife. It is time to let it go a little bit more.” A wave I had to practice riding so I wouldn’t be towed under.
I’ve listened to that. I’ve opened myself up to feel it a little bit deeper, a little more rawly. I’ve cried a lot. I’ve intentionally watched sad movies to help release the flood gates. I’ve read from parts of my half dozen grief books gifted to me by folks. I’ve looked at pictures and read over some of the cards I’ve received in the last few months. I’ve talked to Russell about what I miss, about what our kids are doing right now, about how proud I am of them, about things we dreamed of doing that I still hope to pursue, about how absolutely cuckoo this whole thing still remains to me. I’ve walked barefoot in our yard smiling at how green it all is, knowing Russell would be very pleased with our land.
I’ve also tried to slowly start responding to folks who have been reaching out to me to spend time with me. It is a slow attempt on my part, as so much of my actions are these days. There are many who I wish to see and yet planning anything these days seems so very, very hard. I long to be with folks as it helps me not feel so lost and rudderless. But I also deeply crave to be alone, because in the solitude is where I allow myself to go deep within and speak to Russell, who I am greatly missing more and more everyday.
As time moves along and I think I am getting stronger, things happen and I realize I really am not. I am just getting better at coping. But my lethargy, or more accurately an almost complete inability to follow completely through on anything, remains strong. My good moments are really good. My bad moments are really bad. Imagining a newer future is possible, but acting towards that future is a giant mountain I still need to climb.
Speaking on the phone is the hardest thing for me to. Dialing seems to take so much effort. So there are calls I need to return both for business and for pleasure. But I just can’t quite do it most days. I feel a great sense of accomplishment with every little call I make.
So please, everyone, keep asking! Keep asking how I am doing even if I can’t adequately answer you and I stare at you like a deer in the headlights or I mutter words that make no sense. Keep asking me if I need anything though I seriously can’t answer that aloud as the only answer in my head is “give him back to us.” Please keep asking if I want to go to lunch, or dinner and just sit somewhere quietly for coffee or a glass of wine. I may say no a lot (especially as I get super busy with summer camps starting next week) but know that I want to say yes to all of those requests. Keep asking even if I don’t respond for days or weeks. I see the requests; I write down on my to do list to return the calls or emails and that’s about how far I can get right now. Please keep asking!
I only want to be with people – sharing stories from the past and the present and dream for the future. I find committing to work is hard but simply being at my farm is fairly easy to do if I can get out of the house. Sunny days are easier. Rainy days leave me wanting to curl up under the covers, order things from Amazon (I am finding you can get just about anything delivered to your door), sip tea and read my books.
But I want to feel strong and competent and able to get through an entire week accomplishing all I hope to do with relative ease. The only way I will get to this place of strength is baby stepping one step at a time, feeling it all and just going through all of the emotions that well up within me. I don’t know when it will come, that magical day of being able to walk in strength without feeling drained to my core at the end of it. But I do know it will come.
Until that day comes please keep asking me whatever it is you feel called to ask. The threads of hope that you all create in continuing to ask are what keep me afloat. So please KEEP ASKING! Love and hugs and peace to us all!