Grief…what is it good for?

IMG_1706I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been in the throes of working and establishing myself again. That has been good, bad, and ugly.

I started substitute teaching back in November. I like it. It also had solidified that my idea for the next stage of my life is a good one. I have decided to become an English teacher. It incorporates a lot of things I need going forward in my life. Doing something I love. Having a stable income and a plan for my future. And it affords me time to continue to follow my passion, writing. It’s a huge plus that I really like it.

Finding a way to make an income has made me become a workaholic of sorts. It’s twofold, I believe. For one, it creates a stability that is paramount to my survival, both in now and in the future. Second, it keeps me busy. Gets me out of the house. Allows me to interact with people again.

What it also does is diminish the time I have to grieve. While some of you might be shaking your heads right now and thinking, uh oh…slippery slope. I think it has been the perfect way to blend my grief with a positive action of moving forward.

When you lose someone so dear to you that has been so much a part of your life, there is a huge, gaping hole that you’re not sure how to fill. Most often you just put a big tarp over the hole and try to go on. But that rarely works because one day a blustery day of hurt arrives and blows that tarp off and there’s the hole bigger and more gaping than before.

With working, I have found my grief arrives in weird increments and at times I wouldn’t think possible. Driving home, for instance. That one hit me hard. I would finish a day of work and as I drove home I would feel this horrible sadness descend. It was troublesome and I tried to fight it, but then I realized. Deal with it, Lorena.

So I did. I listened to the hurt. It was missing my husband. It was missing what our life plan had been. It was knowing that the life I had invested in was no longer viable. Ah ha! Eureka. I  had discovered it. The life I had planned was now null. It was void. That was the festering sore that seemed to rip its Band-Aid off during the half-hour commute home.

Okay, so what do they say about Band-Aids? Better to just rip them off, right? So I did. I ripped off the painful loss and asked myself, what was at the core. I didn’t choose this life. Ouch! Okay, but it was the life I had so I better find a way to be happy with it.

Once I addressed one of the elephants in my grief room, it got a lot less crowded.

Next grief elephant, it’s okay to move on. See this one is a tricky one. First off, moving on means leaving them behind. How do you do that? Leaving them behind means you can move on. Doesn’t that mean something? If this person was so significant to you, how do you, how can you, leave them behind? Doesn’t that make you a traitor to their memory?

What happens if you find yourself ready and very willing to take the ne next step into your life? Doesn’t that mean you’ve left them behind?

And when you find yourself excited about where you’re going, how do you jive that with the loss and the sadness you still carry with you?

And  is it fair to beat yourself up? They aren’t here anymore. They left this world and you’re still here. You have to live. You have to be happy again. Right?

See slippery slope.

This is how I’ve chosen to deal with it. My way. It’s my grief and only I know how to deal with my grief. I’m not advocating that everyone needs to do it my way. But I have to do it my way. But that borders on the evil and horribly awful word selfish. But what if I only do the self part and don’t do the -ish?

I don’t want to take care of myself at the abandon of others feelings. But, I do need to take care of myself and in my self-care some people may have their feelings hurt. It’s not intentional, but it might happen. Does that stop me from progressing on in my decisions and plans?

All this is treacherous waters to navigate. And finally I came to a decision.

This is my is my  life and so I have to do what’s best for me. I will not do anything with an intention to hurt anyone, but I have to do what brings happiness and joy to my world.



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