Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hello October, My Old Friend

Excerpt from a post entitled Grief and October, circa October 7, 2009:
"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...
Today, in the middle of what began as a productive day, I was seized by melancholy. It descended from nowhere and sank in to every crevice of my being, leaving me cold, hopeless and full of fear. I perched, fingers hovering above the keys of my iPhone, wanting to call someone, to text someone, and wondering what in the world was the matter with me. Only moments earlier I was fine.

There was a desperate need to call someone. Only who? And about what? What would I tell them? What was it I needed? And how could anyone help me when I didn't know what was wrong?

An hour later, in the aisles of Walmart, I remembered. And understood. It's October.

Hello October, my old friend. I see you've come to talk with me again.

Well, I'm here. I'm listening. I will do what you ask. I will stop for a time and remember Mama. It's gonna hurt anyway, I know.
"...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." ~ Olivia J. Herrell, Oct 7, 2009
I just found out that Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, died today. Rest in Peace, Steve. May you bring as much enlightenment to the world in your afterlife as you did while still here on earth.

~ Olivia J. Herrell


Unknown said...

So tender and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Elliot Grace said...

...very reminiscent of my wife, who's mother passed in September of 2000. Every year, in and around the day of her passing, my wife grows quiet, her gaze lost in the distant woods behind our house...and I know, we all know, that for a while she'll be in pain.

Touching post, Olivia. Speaking with your heart.


Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Elle, thank you. Thank you so much.

Yes, El, that's it exactly. We share a common grief, the motherless. Your comment moved me to tears. Thank you for understanding. For knowing. My love to the missus.

~ Olivia

dolorah said...

A touching tribute to your mother Olivia. Loved the processes poem; enlightening and sympathetic.

Take care of yourself during this month.


Yvonne Osborne said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for the reminder to call my mother while I still can. I can't imagine the depth of the hole that opens with the loss of a parent. I'm taking them down some coffe cake right this minute. I'm going to make the most of this beautiful October Day.

I heard about Steve Jobs last night. What a long painful struggle he had to endure. What a genius he was.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Donna, thank you. I will. You've helped, as always. Thank you for being there.

Yvonne, yes! And yay! I'm so glad you did that. It was good for my soul knowing.

~ Olivia

Jase said...

Thank you so much for sharing. You put it into words so beautifully. I lost my father in 2006 and I go through a similar process in April.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Jase, thank you for stopping by and for sharing your own grief. It helps, somehow, knowing that we're not alone. It doesn't take away any of the sting, but it does feel good to walk in the company of others on this path.

~ Olivia

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