Sunday, September 15, 2013

Keeping On

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.



24 comments:

  1. You're doing good Olga. It has to be a tough path to walk, but you're seeing your friends, and they along with your family will give you the inner strength to go on. And its OK to kick something once in a while. (My clothes dryer looks like hell)

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    1. I tend to break a toe if I kick things because I go bare foot too much, but I do shake my fist.

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  2. How wonderful that you are coping well with your loss. Keep a positive attitude, Olga, because Mike would want you to.

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  3. Olga, you are an example to follow of how to get through this experience. And other cataclysmic events as well.
    Keep on keeping on, Woman!

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  4. Good for you, I'm sure Mike is very proud of how you are coping. One day at a time, with the support of those close to you.

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  5. What a beautiful post! I find this so inspirational! None of us knows how we would deal with a loss like yours until it happens. Through your words we can learn something about what grieving is like, and how to manage it.
    And mostly, for those of us who only know you from afar, we get a glimpse of what an amazing person you are.
    I love your last line. Yes, you are living.

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  6. Beautiful sentiments. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Thank you Olga for sharing your experience with us we are learning from your example!

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  8. You are doing just what you should be doing. Fall is such a lovely time in VT. Hope you can get outdoors a bit each day. You don't sound a bit crazy to me. Take Care, Olga.

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  9. What a rich sharing you have given us all. I read bloggers who deal with the passing of a loved one or the divorce from a loved one and I grow and grow with their words. Your strength, vision, patience with yourself really are eye-openers for those of us yet to walk your paths. Thank you so much for sharing this difficult time. You have been somewhat quiet about it and thus I know that the pain is slowly healing with your ability to write and review. Now, could I have a small piece of that pie?

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  10. I like the line about the women not letting you go crazy. That is the time immemorial thing that women do, isn't it. Glad you are not going crazy.

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    1. They are watching out for me with a fierceness that is classic.

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  11. So good to hear from you. Thank God for women who keep each other sane.

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  12. A dear girl friend forwarded this prayer to me in an email yesterday:

    "Dear God, This is my friend whom I love and this is my prayer for her. Help her live her life to the fullest. Please cause her to excel above her expectations. Help her to shine in the darkest places where it is impossible to love. Protect her at all times, lift her up when she needs You the most, and let her know when she walks with You, she will always be safe. Amen!"

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  13. Grieving is such a personal thing. There are no right or wrong ways, only the way that gets you through. Seems like you are doing some very positive things. Being open and not hesitating to lean like you are has to be helpful.

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    1. I have a good network of support for sure.

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  14. You are not going crazy, your personal world has gone crazy. How does one live with that? Talking to the person you love is not crazy. Having to live without him is. God bless you Olga, you do crazy with grace and aplomb.

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  15. Well, sometimes, Mike actually talks back to me. That may be a teeny bit crazy. It is always to make my laugh when he does. He was good at that.

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    1. "Mike actually talks back to me. That may be a teeny bit crazy."

      Only to the rational world, not to us new age flakes. Your world is not very rational now, and anything that makes you laugh is worth it weight in gold.

      Keep talking!

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  16. My eyes kept tearing up as I read your beautiful post, Olga. You truly are an inspiration for us all. Everybody grieves in their own way. I can feel Mike's spirit and love sustaining you even though he may no longer be with you physically. You shared such a beautiful life together. I'm glad friends are watching over you. Bless them and especially you.

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  17. You aren't going crazy, in fact you seem to be coping in your own way and it is working for you. There is a lot of good energy being sent your way by a lot of people.

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  18. So much in this sentence: "And life calls to the living and I can answer a bit more each day." This post exudes strength ... and so much that shows you are certainly not going crazy. ♥

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  19. Grieving is such hard work. It also takes so much energy. I love how you keep assuring us that you are not going crazy. At times, during those early days of grieving after my daughter's death, I often wondered if I were going crazy. I remember saying that I was not to myself. I also remember telling my doctor more that once that grief is not depression. Sadness is much different from depression. Talking to the one we lost is definitely not an indicator that one is going crazy. I do that to this day.

    You seem to have great support and you are moving forward, one foot in front of the other, and doing those things that make you a part of the living. This is good. Hugs, Olga.

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