Every one says to give myself time to grieve. I don't see that I even have a choice in the matter. It is a process and there are no short cuts. It is one day at a time and baby steps along the way. Heartache and missing Mike are my new reality. Well, a part of my new reality. In the meantime, I am left to go on with life and figure out my way in the world. Some things--often unexpectedly--are hard. Other times--often unexpectedly--I find a well of strength I maybe had not appreciated before.
My friend Ginnie calls often to ask in a most supportive way, "What did you do today? What do you plan to do tomorrow?" At first it was the many details of death that took up the "just one thing I can do today." Basic things like brushing my teeth and washing my face felt like accomplishments. I cleaned the house as a way to lovingly touch all of Mike's things. I even dusted his tool chest and his work bench in the garage. I am grieving, but I am not going crazy.
And life calls to the living and I can answer a bit more each day. Thoughts of "Mike would have enjoyed this," or "I would be doing this on my own anyway," are always there but I am not giving up. I am carrying on. I am grieving with all my heart, but I am not going crazy. I may talk to Mike...out loud...often during the day and especially at night, but I am not going crazy.
So this week, I went to writing group. I had nothing to share, but afterwards I made some time to sit and write. It helps me. I will have something to share next time. And I pay attention to blogs. I have found it difficult to sustain attention to reading, but this week I started And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, and writing that good helps me. Last night I joined my poetry friends for an evening of poetry reading, music, and delectable delights and it was soothing to my spirit. I am not going crazy because women will not let me.
I got back to the online class I was taking--pants fitting. I struggled so I let it go, put the pattern aside again for a while longer. Mike always said to walk away from something that was frustrating me and go back to it later. Too often that was a difficult thing for me. Frustration can make me stubborn, but I heard his voice once again and I let it go. I am not going crazy. In fact, I may have grown a bit there for listening.
I baked apple pies. That is an obligatory ritual of September in Vermont. Mike loved my pies, but my brother will benefit from this baking session. Cooking can be such an offering of love and seasonal cooking is an act of respect for the earth. I stepped out of myself for time I spent baking. Nothing crazy about that.
Don't think that I am protesting too much. I am not going crazy. I am grieving. I am living.