Tag Archives: grief

Sorry for myself

“Sitting back broken in spirit was just not an option”
Just read a very moving blog
http://ubecute.com/2014/09/10/the-story-of-a-girl-who-never-looked-back/
This line caught my eye.
A jolt.
The realisation that I really have been letting myself feel very sorry for myself of late and have been sliding down just a little too often and too far.

Time to dig deep once more and stop what has become a bit of a slide.

So many great and positive things going on when I take stock of my life – relationships, health, work – I’m lucky, truly blessed by the people and opportunities in my life and yet there is still a profound sense of melancholy. A familiar feeling.

Just four and a half months since mum died and it’s so raw still sometimes. A candle lit for her in a church in Sicily on my recent holiday and tears fell. The welcome and moving comfort of a stranger’s hand on my shoulder.

So that loss, that grief sits there, emerging strongly in moments and it adds to the melancholia that has been with me as long as I can remember, indulged sometimes, kept at bay and from spilling over most of the time.
I feel joy, contentment, love, happiness, achievement, relatedness, peace … All these so often and so deeply….And yet somewhere as a quiet backdrop lies the melancholia. An old friend now in many ways, oh so familiar, a smile of recognition almost when it pushes it’s way through the good things of my life to remind me that it’s still there.

So I stood last night at the door of my English pub bedroom for the night, here to spend an early birthday celebration with my youngest sister and my Dad, soaking in the sights and smells and sounds of an unseasonally warm September evening in Surrey and saw this:

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Luxuriating in the lush greenness and the warmth of the fading sun, feeling content and then a sudden being enveloped by sadness, melancholy. So there we stood, my melancholy and me for a while in the doorway, co-existing until time came for it to be tucked away before an evening celebrating a birthday of my much loved sister. Tucked away. Til the next time.

So reading Ubecute.com’s blog just now about a woman who’s faced massive life challenges, things I’ve never had to face, a humbling story, I’m reminded of how life is for me. I’m reminded of how while acknowledging and sitting with my old friend melancholy at times is right, giving space and time, exploring it’s twists and turns is all needed but letting it move right in and take centre stage as I feel it might like to, “just isn’t an option” for me.

Clutter

Where did all the clutter in our home come from? As part of my sitting with my feelings this weekend I took on to start a declutter while J is away and here I am on Sunday evening feeling somewhat defeated. Tons sorted, bin bags filled, a shredding frenzy and still there is more. Perhaps 3 months off work and I could crack it. Decluttering leave. Must be a category along with compassionate leave or maternity leave.

So much unneeded stuff. What was I thinking accumulating it all? Like molehills mounds appear in rooms. Clothes when the wardrobes are full, piles of books in the absence of bookshelves, things and more things, things that might come in handy one day, maybe. Things I have no idea how they got here. Unwanted forgotten gifts?

Stuff. Like my thoughts and memories. All cluttering up the corners of my brain and then the occasional avalanche when they tumble pellmell into my consciousness. A weekend of acknowledging, sifting and sorting. And sadness. Lots of sadness. Loss. A chat with my ex mother in law to express my condolences on the recent deaths in her family. That chat left me with a wave of sadness about my marriage to her son and the way it ended. Feelings all raw and on the surface again. Hard to believe it’s nearly 8 years ago now.

And I just try to be with the feelings and work my way through the clutter inside and around me. Getting there…

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Sitting with sadness

For the first time since my mum’s death almost four months ago I’ve had two weeks on my own at home, my partner off in Ireland for work.

I realise how much I’ve needed this space to sit with my feelings- not only the loss of my mum, the thinking about things that will never happen again, rerunning my last visit to her where she held my hand tight and returned a kiss unexpectedly ….but also the sense of responsibility for my father and the still broken relationships with 2 in the family. It’s a lot and it needs time just to quietly be and to do the things I know work for me in times such as these – lots of sleep, very very simple healthy food, swimming, walking, writing, reading, time to just be and think and lots of quiet.

A photo on the mantelpiece of my mum from a few years before her descent into Alzheimer’s. She is looking directly at the camera and is surprisingly relaxed and happy, usually one to avoid being the subject of a photo. It’s good to remember times like those as well as the peaceful times she had towards the end of her life. I loved just to visit and sit with her, doing the little things she seemed to like – putting on hand cream, brushing her hair, helping her eat a Creme caramel with gusto and just holding her hand as she slept. All precious times and feel good about having been able to go down so often in her last months in particular.

So lots of memories of moments with my mum that feel good just to sit with.

The family difficulties resulting from their ways of dealing with loss continue. Incredibly painful for me but I have just tried to keep going. In pain they have lashed out and excluded. And I just keep going trying to do the best by my dad and youngest sister – and for us the shared grief has brought us closer. Still unresolved with the other two despite my best efforts I just need now to step back and let time continue to pass. The realisation is that not everything can be fixed and may not be ever. That’s not an easy thought.

I’ve read so much about loss and grief and get the why … But it still makes it tough to be at the sharp end of the consequences of how others can deal with theirs. At a time I’d have imagined a pulling in, a strengthening of bonds, it’s been the opposite with them. Just need to be with that.

So time to muse and meditate, time to snooze and peruse books and podcasts, drink great coffee and feel my limbs stretch as I swim. Time to recharge and fill my being with positive energies and nourishment.

Just what I needed.