I had big plans to write a light blog today. Something fun about the kids or the dogs. (Oh my dogs! Such comedians!) After last night though, a different post started to take shape in my mind. Sorry if I’m such a Debbie Downer right now but quite frankly, I don’t write for you, I write for me. It’s part of my process.
Earlier this week I had therapy. I had rehashed some disappointments regarding my Grandma and that grieving process. She died a week before we were to come and visit. On that visit she and I had planned to make her super yummy pop overs, go through her recipes and to sit on her front porch to watch the Sandia’s turn pink. Or red. Whatever their fancy. Instead there was a funeral and then I had to go home to get my sons off to school, help them grieve, etc. For Spring Break we took a different route for our trip and skipped Grandma’s house completely. My Aunt’s said it was too empty and different and wouldn’t be good for the boys and I. The thing is, I just wanted to sit on her porch. More than anything I needed to do that. A few weeks later I got a call saying that her house had been sold. I was devastated. It was a dramatic night! Ha!
I shared these things with my therapist and other details that are not all my story to tell.
“It was good that you were home to comfort your sons after the funeral,” she began. “Who comforts you?”
I sat and thought about it for a long while. I wanted to say “My comfort comes from Jesus,” or “my husband,” or “my mom,” or “my friends!” I have found some comfort from all of them, more from my friends than anything, but the person who really, really comforts me best…
My therapist burst into laughter and after a bit I was chuckling too.
“Oh you are good! Ha ha! That’s great! And also bad because that is self medicating,” she lightly scolded me.
She went on to encourage me to allow myself to grieve. “I want you to go home and take a nap. You look bothered. Why?”
“Because it’s so hard for me to get out of bed as it is and you are suggesting I get back in? I spend a good deal of my day just sitting around and moping. I need to DO things.”
“What you need to do is take care of yourself. You’ve been up since 2 a.m. That doesn’t do anybody any good. Go home. Take a nap. Doctor’s orders. Later this week I think you should get a facial, a massage, manicure…maybe all of it. Can you do those things?”
“Well, yeah, because I already do. Really I am quite spoiled I don’t think doing more of that will be good for me.”
“Take a trip. You need to get away for a bit.”
Is this lady not hearing me? I have a job. A job where my performance level is very low right now. She wants me to “get away” and spoil myself?
I was exhausted though so when I got home I laid down on my bed and went to sleep. I slept for 2 glorious hours!
Last night I hosted our weekly Pizza Night.
“Why are you hosting Pizza Night?” Stacey asked. “If this is hard for you then you don’t need to do it. If it’s hard to get up and get the kids ready then don’t. They can get themselves ready. If you don’t want to make dinner then don’t. Go buy some pre-made meals from Whole Foods.”
I felt my body start to tighten with each “then don’t.” First my chest, then my shoulders, clenched hands, squeezed knees, pinched expression, clenched teeth. What she is saying is what I want to hear. I want to stop. I want to let everyone take care of themselves for now but I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I would be letting them down and making them worry.
When my mom calls, also grieving her the loss of her mother, I can’t sound too low or she will worry. I need to sound OK for her. I need to be present and happy for my kids so that they don’t worry (because they are. They are so worried!) I need to have the house cleaned and laundry done so my husband can come home and relax instead of picking up my slack. I need to make my friends laugh again so they quit looking at me with tear filled eyes and mirrored expressions of my own. I’m hurting and so they are. I would love for us to get together and they not have to talk about what’s wrong with me.
“Michal, you need to grieve. Do what you need to do to grieve,” Melissa said. “When your therapist suggested you take a nap she was giving you the permission to do it so you don’t lay there thinking of everything you need to do. Instead you can just sleep.”
Caren shared how, when grieving her father, there were certain days she can remember where there was laughter. It was so rare that it left a vivid memory.
“It was so great to hear you laughing when I walked in,” she remarked.
As my friends talked I was thinking of my poor husband; who had to be listening in the other room. He is struggling with how to help me. Men want to fix things. When they can’t they feel like they are failing. I have been trying to help him help me but quite frankly, it’s exhausting. Women are fixers too but they like to talk and talk about it first. That’s how we fix things. We talk about the various ways we could make it happen and through that, it does.
I’m so grateful for my Mountain Women and the comfort they bring!
I got a message from Stacey:
“Blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
Last night I dreamt that I was at a Red Rocks concert with my family and Dana Carvey. (I know, what?) We were on the fourth row. Dana was being goofy and lifted his shirt up and dropped his pants. He had on blue underwear. The boys were cracking up. I turned to look at them and Bug had stripped off all of his clothes except his boxer briefs and was imitating Dana Carvey. I busted up laughing. I laughed until the sound of my own laughter woke me up. I laid there shocked to hear it. I laid there for about 45 minutes and just listened to my kids getting themselves ready for school. They didn’t even bother to ask for my help this morning.