“Grief left alone remains the same. Grief mixed with love and memories allows hope to enter”― The Grief Toolbox
Last weekend was absolutely gorgeous. What a treat to finally see the sun shining and the temperature warm up. And with this beautiful weather came spring cleaning. And when it began, for me, it took on a life of its own. I opened up a can of worms and I kept going until everything I started was finished.
The windows were opened, the fresh air came in and so I began cleaning. From the windows, to the floors, to the linens on the beds, all of it… I was the busy beaver. And when it was all done and as tired as I felt, the fresh smells, the clean windows and everything around me neat and organized was well worth my effort and any tiredness I was feeling.
In the middle of all this came a clear and very real observation. The fog has lifted from my grief. It wasn’t anything dramatic during the weekend but perhaps very subtle. Here I was going like gangbusters to clean everything. There was music playing in the background and I was moving along in an upbeat fashion.
When I did stop to break for a cup of coffee, it was then that I noticed that I was feeling happy. I was clearing the clutter, freshening things up around my home and at the same time feeling good that I was doing what I was doing. To be honest with you, once I owned a home and had the opportunity to create my own special place, I loved every minute that came with it. I am a homebody and I love being home. I also love bringing people together and doting on them when they are in my home.
As I’ve shared many times, my life changed when my marriage broke up, when I sold my home and then losing my Dad and moving in with my Mom. I have felt like I was strangled by grief. So many secondary losses with nothing stable or permanent. I found myself feeling that my life was on hold and everything was temporary. “Don’t get too comfortable, Mary you’re not going to be here very long. You’ll be packing up yet again and will move somewhere else.”
So many feelings surfaced and I became stuck and down in the dumps and going through the motions. Why bother? Why get too comfortable, you’ll only have to leave. This is the house you grew up in, Mom’s home. Who am I to change anything or act like it is mine? Yes, I am living here and I call it my home but for the most part I have lived here acting like it’s only temporary. Is that true? Well, in the grand scheme of things, yes. But what is also true is that all of this is completely out of my control to even speculate as to how long Mom’s journey really is. That’s not up to me. So all I really accomplish is wasted energy on something that I have no idea how long it will last. Something that is completely out of my control.
So many crazy thoughts have taken over and kept me disinterested and doing only the “have to’s”.
This past weekend I felt completely different and I saw a glimpse of Mary that is still inside of me. The Mary that is choosing to accept everything about her life as it right now and giving myself permission to just be me and enjoy everything around me. Please don’t misunderstand. I am certainly not conveying to you that I live in a dirty home nor has it been negelected. I love nice things and I love entertaining people in our home; family especially. And, if you walked into my home unexpectedly, you would not even think that I was disinterested in my home as I say. You would feel comfortable and welcome. I know different and I know that my heart has not been into doing any of the “home” things that I have loved to do for a very long time. And this past weekend reminded me that it’s still inside of me and came rushing out when the opportunity presented itself.
And that is what I am sharing today. Grief changes. I’ve shared so many times before that when it comes to grief, you will never get over it, but there will come a time when the pain you feel will not sting as much as it did when it first happened.
Well, friends… I am happy to tell you… OMG that is so true. And, I can say this because I have felt it and I am living it. I want you to know that whatever grief may be in your life, it will change and it will one day not hurt as much as it has or does for you right now. As I was spring cleaning, I felt good about what I was doing and as I was making things extra nice for Mom and I, I couldn’t help but think about Dad and know that he was smiling down on me for focusing on something that I like to do and that makes me happy. Nothing will ever change in how much I miss him every day but the difference now is that I choose to focus on celebrating his life and cherishing all my memories good and bad versus how he left this world.
BUT…. What has to happen for you to experience any of what I am sharing is this… you have to take some action along your grief journey. You have to be willing to take those baby steps and be open to moving forward. Again, and what will always be true is, everyone’s grief journey is theirs alone. No one and I mean no one has a right to tell another person how long they should grieve or on a more callous note that they should be “over it” by a certain time. Absolutely not, is that right nor should anyone have to deal with such judgment.
By the same token, if anyone wants to move through their grief and once again find joy and happiness, there is absolutely no doubt that as they grieve they will have to make a choice at some point to take action to consciously want to feel better.
My way this past weekend was spring cleaning. What are you doing to help yourself move through grief or what can you do for someone you care about to help them move through their grief? I challenge you to take action for yourself or someone you care about.