Sunday, June 26, 2016

Against the Tide

Sometimes I think I'm making progress, but I don't think I've actually hit that point where the grief starts giving way to mourning and I start actually rebuilding things.  The house hasn't changed much; her jacket is still hanging on the back of her chair, most of her dirty clothes are still where she left them, her desk is just the way she left it except I stacked the estate paperwork on it.  It took me over a month to decide it was time to turn off her computer, for goodness sake.

I've had over a week off now, and it surprises me how absolutely exhausted I still feel all the time.  I want to do things; I want to get the yard mowed finally, I want to clean the kitchen, I want to get the house straightened up and organized so I can feel like it's ready to have company over if I get the notion to invite someone.  At least, I want to want to do all those things.  When I get up intending to do something, though, it feels like I might as well be trying to roll a boulder up a mountain, and I mostly end up pacing around a bit, marvelling at how amazingly tired I feel all of a sudden, and then sitting back down.

I've let the thought cross my mind that I should see the doctor about how I'm feeling so exhausted all the time, and get checked for like sleep apnea or something, but I know better.  I'm sure there's a very simple and obvious answer for why I don't have energy, and I'm sure it has everything to do with the fact I am still grieving--the waves have just settled a bit, so the sudden and unpredictable outbursts of severe emotional distress are fading, and giving way to a more general malaise.

Maybe I just need to try to be more patient.  I am usually very good at being patient, but I am realizing that I am not at all patient when it comes to judging myself.  I know, or at least I've read, that things will come, it just might take a few months, a few years.  I don't want it to take a few years, I want to get up and have all the energy I had before, right now, I want to make her proud of me that I am carrying on.
It makes me think of waiting at the service station.  I might want to get going right now, but it would be a lot smarter to wait until the oil gets put back in and the tires get put back on.

Monday, June 20, 2016

At Rest

Today is a dual Holiday; today is Litha, the summer solstice, and until sunset, it is also the full Lover's Moon.  The main thing I had planned to do today to honor both of these events was to finally get our niche completed (since there were no name markers one Moon ago when we placed the urn).  I'm not really thinking of anything poetic to say about it, except that if it had to be delayed, I am at least glad I was able to have another auspicious time to re-open the niche and add the missing parts.

I asked to take pictures before they re-installed the glass front; I am glad I mentioned wanting that in advance, because when the moment came, Jill had to remind me to take my pictures.  Now I finally have a picture that won't have reflections in front.
The urn has the two medallions, and I used two of Joanne's silver serpentine necklace chains instead of the ribbons that came with them; we looped the longer one around the neck of the urn and it turned out just perfect.  For my side, I added my Chalice, my Tree of Life bracelet, and one of the quartet of my little glass angels.  I actually think this particular little angel represents me perfectly.

It does feel good to finally have the niche completed, but it also feels a bit strange; it feels like getting to this point has been my focus for the past two months, and now it is finished, and it's sort of weird to realize I don't have to worry about that anymore.  Anyway, once the niche was sealed again, I walked down to the little flower shop on the corner, and got a flower for her, just because I could.

I'm planning to make myself some Japanese food for dinner (teriyaki salmon, with rice, miso soup, and sunomono) but I think I am going to be fairly low-energy for the rest of the day.  I think I've actually finished most everything I was pushing myself to get taken care of, and now that I am giving myself a little bit of permission to rest, I am realizing I am just about spent.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I gave myself a bit of a wake-up call yesterday--along with a 911 call.  I was at work, in our back office; it was crowded at the moment, also being the "conference room" where all the doctors come to talk to each other (usually about politics or such and nothing patient-related).  I suddenly started feeling really light-headed, I thought I would pass out or worse.  I was hanging on to the desk with my head down; and I sort of remember thinking that there were five medical doctors right there in front of me, and I was going to fall over and die without any of them noticing.  One of them did notice, though; I think he asked me if I was okay and I answered 'I don't know.'

That doctor, the neurologist, takes my pulse, tells the psychiatrist to call 911, and the next thing I know, they are all in "MD mode" and whisking me off to one of the exam rooms to make me lie down.  (This is all during the busy time of the day, mind you, and I am hearing myself protesting that I need to go back to my desk and keep working.)  EMTs came and checked me out, and my pulse was back down to normal by then.  I took a half an hour or so to eat lunch and get myself settled, but ended up staying at work (despite recommendations that I do otherwise).  In all likelihood, I managed to give myself another panic attack (the second one of my life).

I think I've just been pushing myself too hard, and looking too far forward, and I forgot to stay grounded at all.  I fixated on that idea of "this can't be my life" and instead of just living my way through it to see where it will go, I think I was getting frustrated and discontent and wanting things to happen right now, and not giving myself credit for being as strong and resilient as anyone should expect for someone in the early stages of grief.
I'm standing in the middle of the wreckage of our life together--of my life--and instead of taking the time I need to pick up and sort all the little pieces to see what I might have left, I'm letting myself get disappointed in myself that I don't have a skyscraper standing here by now.  Joanne did always tell me I was too hard on myself.

In the Greek myth that everyone knows, Daedalus warns Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, or else his wings will melt and he will fall into the sea.  (Icarus was, apparently, roughly as sensible as I've been being, and plunged to his doom anyway.)  So I think I need to just let things go for now, and focus on the day-to-day that's in front of me.  Take care of the things that are in front of me now--the last of the estate administration stuff, and also the normal things that I haven't been keeping up with, like dishes, cooking, laundry, yard work.

In the details of the myth that not as many people know, what Daedalus actually told Icarus was that he had to fly at a moderate height--if he flew too high, the wings would melt and get ruined, but if he flew too low, the wings would get wet from the seaspray and get ruined, and the only way to make it across was to fly in the middle of the two extremes.  But I think for me right now, if I can make myself keep going forward, and keep up on the day-to-day obligations, and start working my way back into my Kitchen, that will be flying high enough.  Once that stuff starts to feel simple again, then that can be the time to go a little higher and look a little further forward.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Going Forward

So I started off the week a little bit rough; as someone I know from a former life in Missouri might say, I "decided to suck on the pity titty."  You know, I've been acting like I didn't see the outcome coming, and maybe I was a little taken aback by just how fast/early I got out of control, but if I'm really, really honest with myself, I was probably trying to get drunk, before I ever poured the first one.  And never doubt that a witch will accomplish whatever she puts her mind to--if I wanted to be drunk, then drunk is what I became.

I think I'm finally finished with that subject now; I've been processing it all this week, and I think I realize that actually, no, I'm not the victim of some addiction I can't control, it was just a decision I made.  If I didn't like it, I can choose differently next time.  And that's as easy as that is.

From there, I made good progress on the administrative front; I think there's only a couple more big things to do, and then the rest will be the little "we're sorry for your loss" calls as things like utilities come in that have her name on them and need to get changed over.  It's been a good week.

I've been feeling the kitchen calling me this week, and tonight I decided I would craft a proper meal for myself.  These country-style pork ribs I had in the freezer got pressure-braised in my newest cauldron (an Instant Pot), in my special Witches' Brew (which might or might not include a splash of Scotch), and I made mashed potatoes and green beans.  I have to say, as many restaurants as I have been taking myself out to, this is probably the most delicious thing I've had in a couple of weeks.  It makes me remember how much I love to cook and how much I love my own cooking.

I think my concern for the immediate future is that once I am finished with the administrative stuff, the emptiness is going to start feeling big.  It's like I've said to a couple of people recently:  When I was with Jo, she was my life, and the things like This Job were the means to the end, and it was fine.  Now it feels like the main thing I have is This Job, and I say with some conviction that this can't be my life, there needs to be more meaning than that.

I was talking along these lines this morning with a Wind spirit (who knows who she is) and predictably, she suggested I throw caution, well, to the Wind, and go charging after my dreams.  She's probably mostly right, although I will obviously have to do it my way and plan everything in exacting fashion.  A river doesn't change its course quite as easily as a gust of Wind.  But then, there are few things in the world as inexorable as the flow of Water toward the sea.  I will get to where I need to be.  I just have to decide for sure where that is.