February Twenty-first; Thoughts on Dealing With Grief and its Relative, Depression

“Like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.” For some, a well remembered line from a soap opera. Grief, flows like the tide. At its worst, flowing in and covering all that would seem happy. Pushing one’s mind to a dark place where the light can’t reach.

I’ve been up since a little before eight this morning. I spent the night varying between awake and asleep. More often finding myself awake staring into the darkness as I listened to the barely audible radio or my dog Bella grunting in her sleep. Eventually I would drift back into sleep for a while.

Why this sadness now? Why am I finding myself sitting here mindlessly scrolling through various online sites, seeing but yet, not. Why today, does my heart ache so badly? I think that it is partly because of that five year anniversary of my husband’s death fast approaching and partly out of disappointment that I have not made the progress I had hoped for. I find myself still sitting in my safe spot, fearing what awaits outside of that locked door. All the while desperately wishing for that growth and change. I have to face the reality of what I understand in concept but need in reality, to put into action. One can understand and one can dream. One can hope and plan all manner of adventures, longing for that growth. It all means nothing unless you take that first step into putting it into action. Dress your spirit in the courage to take that step. Often I see the various memes and quotes of how courage is not the absence of fear, but feeling the fear, and doing it anyway. I need that.

This showed up in my memories the other day, and at the spur of the moment saved it to a file. This is from 2019

Day 51– page 51– Standing alone

I never dated in high school. I was too immature, too socially inept, too different for the guys to even consider asking. It took me a long time before I understood, but looking back, it was that hind sight is 20-20 thing. I almost had a date one time, but it was just a way to get an old girl friend jealous. The day of the event, the supposed date was totally forgotten. Hurt? Yes, but you accept and go on. In all honesty, I didn’t think it was going to happen anyway. I was one of those girls who went alone to the prom. I spent most of it standing against the wall.

After school there were relationships. There was failed marriage. Then, there was my late husband. So many years together. So many good times shared. And yes, bad times, difficult time, endured. We created a life together with his daughter and then with our son. Over thirty years together, then, you were gone.

Its been almost two years. While James still lives here at home, it is of course different. I’m working on being accustomed to being alone. In this, I find comfort in a way that I didn’t know possible. I am finding me. I just have to find the energy to enjoy the me I am finding.

The me I am finding, enjoys watching documentaries on television, or even so called children’s animated movies. There is no one to give me that sideways look thinking I’m silly. I can hike where I want, when I want for as long as I want and not have someone lecturing me on being out there alone. When time and energy allow, I can finally clear out some of the things that my husband swore he would need someday. Slowly, I am seeing clearing.

Then, there is the being able to sit here, quietly, enjoying the peace. When the weather warms and clears, and the yard dries enough, I can get out there and make a Molly created disaster into something that looks presentable and welcoming. I can create and decorate as I wish, creating a place where I find peace.

And peace, is what I am finding. I don’t feel as if I have to be dating, I don’t long for companionship. I have even grown content with my own company and no longer crave conversation. As I sit here, as I learn and grow, as I find the person I left behind while trying to be a part of two, I make out that bucket list of wants and desires.

I want to find courage. I want to find the courage to go out on my own to places I haven’t gone before. I want to go to restaurants where I haven’t been. I want to go to craft fairs, to concerts where you sit in lawn chairs and enjoy, I want to go hiking along trails local and distant.

I want to find learning. I want to learn new things, or to learn more about the things I know. I want to learn this thing called technology better so that my son will be amazed and proud, but not as much as I will be of myself.

I want to learn how to dance. I want to learn how to shag, how to do the hustle, how to dance some of the dances that I see others doing at events like Relay while I stand back and watch. I want to dance in the shallows at the beach or in a cold mountain creek. I want to dance in the summer showers and the puddles they create.

I want to create colorful designs on clothing and wear it proudly.

I want to stand in my kitchen and create different dishes to tempt the palate and satisfy the hunger.

I want to decorate my home, the way I like and not worry about what anyone thinks.

I want, I hope, I desire, what I am finding. Peace and contentment in being alone. There are moments, when I miss my husband terribly, when I pick up an item that was his, or that reminds me of him. When I see or pass one of those big rigs or hear the engine passing down the road. When that queen size bed seems so very big and empty. When I awaken in the night at strange hours listening for what I won’t hear. Waking, with odd thoughts racing through my mind. The times when I walk, and I have to pass by where he always parked Sweet Lady Green, and its not there. Still, as time passes, I adjust. Time has brought me the realization that a lot has changed since I was that 25 year old meeting my soon to be husband. At 61, I am a stronger, different person. Yet, I am still growing, learning, discovering that peace, is possible, and finding that peace is important, and within reach. And I am finding, that I can do it, and that it really isn’t a bad thing, this standing alone.

I read this and know that I have taken some steps and made some progress, but not what I had hoped and desired. Many changes, not all personal, have taken place since that was written. I no longer am employed so some things have to be place on a back burner until I am more financially secure. While some adventures are funded by my son, I want to be more able to do things myself. The things that do not take money, those things I am trying to accomplish. I want those dance in the rain, wade in the shallows, sit on the hillside and stare at the stars type adventures. I want to discover new trails to hike and revisit past trails. I want to be stronger and more at peace with the simple things.

I know that true, lasting growth is a slow process. I know that grief is a thief set out to destroy and prevent happiness. Even if the quote of grief being love with no place to go is true, it is still a battle to be faced, a moment to deal with in what ever manner works best for the one dealing with the emotion.

There are moments when the sadness attacks, that my mind goes off in a variety of directions. I envy those whose life seems better. I see them as more popular, with possessions that I can’t myself possess. I see them as stronger, braver, more at peace, better able to handle what ever comes. Living life to its fullest and feeling the pleasure that comes with living in that manner.  I hate the being alone at events, and yet I don’t seek companionship. I feel that grief is intent on keeping one confused and fearful. Even as I realize I am only seeing the public face of those before me. I have no idea what is hidden behind closed doors. I have no idea what they have faced, what struggles and battles they have fought.

So I have sat here, drinking coffee, listening to the dog snoring behind me and watching the cats outside while I scroll mindlessly through social media. Struggling and wishing, desiring something to break the spell of sadness I was under. Then, as I scrolled, I saw where a friend had shared a memory. It was a photo of my husband and hers standing between their trucks in the company yard. At first, the sadness sought to deepen, then I saw his smile. As I sat here, my son called from the other room and told me to look out the window. A cat that was not one of my not so strays was out making itself comfy in my backyard. I walked to the door and asked, “What are you doing here?” Cats scattered and went in every direction. I even startled the official inside cat, causing her to take off for other parts of the house. I couldn’t help but laugh. One of the not so strays was glaring at me from under the back steps. I tried to apologize but  I was laughing too hard. I received a “yeah right’ look of disbelief. But just like that, the hold the sadness held was broken for this time. It will return, I know it will, but just as today, God will provide a way for the light and the smile to get through. He will grant me the peace in my heart and gentleness in the memories. Reminding me He is with me and the sadness holds only the power that I allow it to hold.

Photo taken by Tracy Byrd. My late husband is the one in the dark jacket and cap.

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in animals, Cats and Kittens, dogs, encouragement, faith, family, inspiration, life's journey, memories, sleep, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to February Twenty-first; Thoughts on Dealing With Grief and its Relative, Depression

  1. John says:

    A big hug for you from far away, Rebecca. ❤️😪

  2. One day at a time…sending thoughts of comfort, love, and peace.

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