Day 11 of 100 Days of Grief
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
This last week has felt like I've finally figured out how to care for myself in a kind and caring way. Earlier on in the book it talked about the words bereaved and compassion. Did you know that bereaved literally means "to be torn apart" and "to have special needs". I wish people understood that better. That it literally feels like you are torn apart. But the author talks about what compassion means. It means "with passion" which seems pretty common sense but when put in the context having compassion for yourself it takes on a bit of a different meaning. It means to care for yourself with passion. This last week I've felt like I'm starting to understand what it means to be compassionate and gentle with myself.
This week didn't feel so hard because I wasn't weighed down by all of the "have to do's". It also helped that one of the days this week I had my husband home to myself. The other holidays were filled with family and obligations and reminders that I'd lost my baby. They were hard. New Years Eve was also hard but because I didn't have the obligations or traditions I was able to take the time I needed when I was feeling overwhelmed. Let's be honest, New Years Eve I sat and cried all night and it was okay.
This week I filled my time with talking with friends from the past, going to counseling and support groups. I took time to do things that made me feel good. I spent time going through my box of Hope. I spent time playing with the kids. I read with them and enjoyed the time I had home with them. I did my yoga and ran and actually listened to my body about what I was capable of doing. I cried. I laughed. How I feel after doing all these things has been such a difference from previous weeks.
But as I look forward to this next week, I'm terrified. Real life is going to hit and I seriously wonder if I can still have that compassion for myself and care while trying to balance the tasks of daily life. What will happen if I fall apart while trying to teach a lesson? What will happen if I shut down when I need to pick up or drop off kids? How will I handle those things? Before I've relied on Nick to pick up my slack but he needs to focus on work and I'm going to have to learn to cope without his constant care. It scares me.
In this chapter it talks about how after this tragedy you need to think of it like you would with a serious physical injury. If your arm was broken and a bone sticking out would you just ignore it and keep going through life? No, you'd go to the doctor to get it set. It says to think of this time like you were in "emotional intensive care."
Todays prompt: Close your eyes and imagine yourself in "emotional intensive care." Where are you? What kind of care are you receiving? From whom? Arrange a weekend or a week of the emotional and spiritual intensive care you most need.
Where would I be? There have been so many times as I was going through this that I've told Nick I want to go somewhere beautiful. The most beautiful place I've ever lived was in Alaska. It was beautiful there. While I lived there I remember walking outside my apartment and thinking "is this even real!?" I told Nick I wish I could go spend a week up in Alaska just sitting and looking at the beauty around me and working through my thoughts and emotions.
What kind of care would I be receiving? In my mind it is a place where I don't have to worry about the every day things. I don't have to worry about what to feed the kids, or how to entertain them. I don't have to tell them to stop fighting or brush their teeth or go to bed. In my mind I would have the time to create the things that honor Hope. I would have the time to talk with Nick about how I'm feeling. I wouldn't need to worry about finances or food or things that cause me anxiety. I would be able to do my yoga and meditation as I needed and have the time to cry without worrying I'm upsetting the kids.
I've been lucky this last week that in part I've been able to do some of these things. Nick has given me time to spend with friends. He allows me time to create and he does yoga right alongside me. I've had moments in the morning and evenings where I've been outside and I've seen beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I've had to spend with my children where it hasn't been fighting and whining. I haven't had to worry about crazy school schedules. I haven't had to worry about teaching piano.
Hopefully I can continue to create time for myself each day where I can do the things I need to do to continue healing. I'm sure there will be days where I'll fall apart. But hopefully I'll have days where I can look back and feel like I've progressed and I've honored Hope and all my other children. I'm also hoping to work on my spiritual healing and answering the questions that still wrack my mind. Hopefully in time I can heal and find joy in all this pain and hurting.