So if you are wondering what I have been up to over these last few weeks....I wish I could tell you! That sounds promising now doesn't it! It really seems to be a blur. Some days I am ok and then others I am in tears. I hate feeling like this. It is all too familiar. The sadness, the fatigue, the anxiety, the moping around. And yet I know I have so much to be grateful for. But my dad is gone and I can't even fathom it yet. It doesn't feel real yet. I stupidly thought that because I had already lost a husband, and my grandma that it would prepare me for this loss. But this time it is a parent, and I feel like part of my history is gone. My dad was absent in my life and yet so present in my mind much of the time because our relationship was so dam hard, so dysfunctional. I spent 7 years on the couch trying to figure it all out, figure him out, figure out why it didn't work. Why I had to keep him at 10 arm's lengths in order for me to function and have a life.
I just feel very thankful that my dad and I had that moment on his birthday to let the past go and share a hug and hear him say the words I had missed so much from him my whole life. My brother said to me recently in an email that "Love is always there no matter how clouded by painful memories, anger, or resentment. Once the persons gone the stuff that wasn't important fades and what's left is what was real and always there in the first place."
I can't help but wonder though why the unimportant stuff doesn't fade while people are still alive? Is it because we are all caught up in all the crap of life, the hurts we sustained, and the anger we feel? I faced this dilemma when my husband was killed, then when I had cancer, and now here it is in my face again.
I have often been asked how I have survived through all that. How did I get to where I am? How have I moved past the pain, and fear. I have to admit, I still feel that sometimes, I think it is only normal to. But what I have done to help myself get through the bad stuff and still feel present, less fearful is to focus on what I love to do. First I had to figure that out. So I started years ago with that one question. It was then I began to discover what was inside of me. I focused on my writing, I started to take pictures which lead to a class in photography, and also realized that I liked crafting. What I came to find was that all of these hobbies kept my mind in the present, in the moment, until I lost track of the time. It made me feel good and kept my creative mind from moving toward the fear, toward the negative.
Something else that helps me is being surrounded by things that are familiar. Things like routine, home, smells, music and my puppy. There seems to be comfort in the daily routine, comfort in what we know. I think it helps to ground us. And I think the grounding keeps the mind from wandering to all the bad places it seems to like to go....