The Writing and Musings of a Southern-Fried Earth Angel
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Grief and October
It's October and the chill of fall has arrived in Southern California. I turned the heat on a few days ago. Some people have a problem with that and agonize over when to light the furnace. Me? I just crank the thermostat to whatever temp I need to be comfortable.
Now, having said that, I will qualify that statement with: If it's cold outside, I wear sweats and Koolaburra's (handmade boots that are identical to Uggs, only they're still made in Australia vs. China) in the house. In the summer when it's hot, I wear shorts and a tank top. So, even though I use my heat and A/C, I do it as green-ly as possible.
Black Betty's top is up and I'm putting up with the whistle. If my window is open a crack it's better, but then I have the window noise and the cold. Whatever.
October is not my favorite month of the year. I'm sure October could care less.
My mother died in October. Three years ago. Interestingly enough, I can't remember now what day. I thought it was the 9th/10th (she died around 12:45 a.m. so I overlap the days in my mind). But, it may've been the 8th/9th.
For the last couple of weeks of September, during the time when she would've been in the hospital, then rehab, then back in the hospital...the time leading up to her death...I relive (and, thus, process) some of the pain that I was too numb to feel.
I can try to ignore it. Pretend it's not there. Stay really busy and look the other way.
But, eventually, those coping mechanisms fail. And I am face-to-face with the reality of my feelings. I am alone with the gut-wrenching knowledge that my Mama, my magnetic north for 50 years, is gone. And, I relive, in spurts and fits and isolated snapshot memories, her last days on earth.
I am not maudlin. Nor morbid. Just grieving. This is my process.
For those who are grieving, no matter how long since your loved-one passed, your process is your process. No one else can put a time-frame on it. They can expect you to be 'healed' or 'cured' of your depression and sadness right away.
But, the reality is, it takes what it takes.
Grief is not bad. Grief is normal. Grief is even beautiful. Allowing our grief honors the one we lost. And it honors our own Self.
So sit in a movie theater or in front of the TV and bawl at a sad movie. Or in front of the computer screen and watch the video about the dog named Baxter who, in his old-age and approaching his own death, brings love and comfort to the dying as an end-of-life therapy.
Honor your grief. Take a day off. Or longer. Claim this time for your own.
My work schedule is light this week. This worries me a bit because slow work means less money coming in. But, I am being cared for. This I know.
Just so you know, I really am okay. In fact, I'm great. Don't be sad for me. I found AA again. Not that it was lost. :) The rooms are still there. As Always.
Thank you all for being a part of my process. Thank you for being part of my recovery.