A close friend asked me how I was doing with all the recent stress and insanity.
I had to take a deep breath and think of a reply that wouldn’t lead him to concern or outright panic.
“I’m doing OK, kinda, sorta, maybe,” I said. “I can manage everything, provided I don’t take time to think too much, or nothing goes wrong in any given day, and nothing breaks or needs attention that I didn’t plan on…”
Our eyes meet as my voice trails off. He knows why. It’s guilt, a lack of time and too much to do to take time to do “nothing.”
“Have you started grieving yet?”
I have, but it’s also been in a “sort-of, kinda” way. I start and stop. I go forward with it, then draw back, because there is a job to go to, writing to get done, meals to make, housework. I don’t know how much space to leave for grief and sadness, and how to get it done. My friend and I are get-it-done, in-charge types who are used to managing things in a nice, linear sort of way. When life throws a stinkbomb into the works, we’ll do anything we can to fashion some kind of workaround, while we take care of others around us.
But sometimes, there are no means to go up, under or over the roadblocks. You have to plant yourself in a chair and let the moment absorb you, rather than the other way around. My friend recommended I take a day just to be sad. Go to the beach, he said. Sit and look at the ocean. Cry and remember the good and bad times. Just let it all go. You’ll never really be ready to move on to the next place if you don’t leave this one.
He’s right, and the day is scheduled. It’ s odd to take out the calendar and mark off “SAD DAY” for Saturday.Nov. 10. It’s just the next day I happen to have open and available (don’t laugh; I had to make a doctor’s appointment for December, and I had only one morning available for it). I’ll find a stretch of deserted beach, and take a chair, a cooler and my thoughts. Oh, and a notepad, of course.
- Coping With Grief: How to Handle Your Emotions (everydayhealth.com)
- Sadness (forestpathblog.wordpress.com)
- Why I Write About Grief (secondwindpub.wordpress.com)
- You Can Be Sad When Everything Is Good (thoughtcatalog.com)
- How Many Times Do I Have to Grieve? (healthyhearing.com)
- Disability and Grief (silentsongstudios.wordpress.com)