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Grief Timeline

Today is four weeks since my dad died.  Early on, several people who do grief counseling told me my thought processes would be messed up/foggy for three weeks.  It's true.  They were.  Are.

This morning for the first time I not only itched to get working again but felt as if I could do some decent work.  I've fallen out of my 1000 words/day habit and haven't started revising my funny MG boy book.  However, last week I wrote up notes and thoughts surrounding draft 1 of another book (BB) and printed those out so I could hit the ground running on draft 2 when I pull it out again in several months.  I forced myself to do this because I was sure that project was the culprit taking up valuable space in my brain, keeping me from the revisions and writing 1k words/day on a new project.

So this morning, free from that other project, I felt the itch.  Not only that, I felt like my old writer self feeling the itch.  Me and the itch.  I decided it was time to do some scratching, time to get serious about those revisions. 

I opened my laptop and started reading through revisions notes I've taken over the past four weeks.  Suddenly, I felt teary and panicked and overwhelmingly tired.  And I knew I wasn't quite ready.

I closed the laptop and took a nap.

I'm sure I was right about the other project taking up valuable real estate in my head.  But I obviously still need a little more time to make a little more space for my grief.

Patience isn't one of my strengths but in this case, I guess I don't really have a choice.  It just means I'll have more time for watching birds in the feeder.  That is, until the Cooper's Hawk arrives to sit on my back fence and all the juncos and sparrows and finches disappear until the coast is clear. 

Eventually they'll be back, and so will I.



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 15th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
I totally understand. When we lost my husband's mother, it felt like I was underwater for at least a month. I just didn't feel like I was where everyone else was if that makes sense. I could be somewhere with friends, but feel like I was just watching a movie happen.

I couldn't do a lot of things I love that took a lot of brain power--like writing. It was no fun. A lot of tears. a lot of disconnected feelings. A lot of intense feelings. It got better. I still think about her every day. I still love her and miss her, and I always will, but that muddling, cloudy part passes.

Good luck! You are already on your way! HUGS!
Dec. 16th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your experience, Sarah. I do often feel as if I'm watching a movie. And I do know I'm on my way because I have lots of happy, laughing moments again. Today was rough, though, but I'll make it through. I was able to write some of my thoughts and feelings down tonight and I think that helped.

Thanks for the hugs.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 16th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
I'd love all three. Someday soon we'll meet and laugh and talk and cry our life stories.

I am definitely seeing the sun again but for some reason today was tough. I bundled up and went outside in the frigid air and shoveled snow which I know that's probably your idea of hell but it cleared my head and my heart, and I felt much better.

Tomorrow's another day, huh?
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 17th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Melodye! I love having this bird friend right here where I can gaze upon his beauty. I remember the hummingbirds bringing you such happiness and I know they can do the same for me.

Have yourself a lovely day.
Dec. 15th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
Glad you're feeling scratchy.
Hugs about the process.
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
Scratchy is definitely a good sign, I think. And what's the writing process without a few bumps along the way?

Thank you, Janet. I know your heart is hurting right now, too.
Dec. 15th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC)
Hugs, Tracy.
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for the hug, Jenny. It really does help knowing people out there are sending good thoughts my way.
Dec. 15th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC)

Good for you for being wise and caring for yourself.
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:01 am (UTC)
Thank you, Robin. I like to think I was being wise although I'm not sure I had much of a choice. I'm definitely trying to be mindful of my needs, though.
Dec. 15th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
There is nothing like watching birds in the feeder when your heart is still so full. It gives you the space to grieve, to remember, or to just Be, with no demands to Do. I'm glad you're allowing for that open space. Love and hugs to you, dear Tracy.
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
You're so kind, Lorraine. Thank you. Those birds are such a gift and I calm as I watch them. I decided today that bird feeders are the best invention!
Dec. 15th, 2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, Laura. That photo is so very cute and it makes me smile. Smiling is definitely good.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Thank you for that vote of confidence, Lizzy. I know it and you know it, but sometimes that doubt creeps in and I really start to wonder. Your good thoughts are much appreciated.
Dec. 16th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Aw, Tracy. I hear you.

I guess I can't say I know exactly what you're going through, but for me, I came to the realization that a big chunk of my heart had been ripped out. I tried playing the "Okay, I'll never see my father again, so what?" game, and tried to just move on. Yes, there are other important things happening in the world, there's beauty to look at, and there are children who need hugs.

But, dang, with a wounded heart, it's hard to just act normal and some days, frankly, it's hard to care about what's going on in the world.

I can see that this will easily take a year before we understand the new normal.

I'm dreading experiencing my first Christmas without Dad and although I know Mom needs me and all of her children now - and we'll be there! - I'm looking forward to getting the holiday over with. I think that once I have a vision of what the new normal looks like (Dad won't be playing Santa and handing out the presents) next year won't be so hard.

I guess I went off a bit there, but I hope you find something helpful in this rather long post.
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
There's so much here for me in this, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing that with me. I'd really love to talk someday soon but the problem is I never know when I'm going to feel like getting out and being with people. I'm a bit flaky these days (for instance, I couldn't go do Street Reach today) but I guess that'll improve with time, too.

I totally understand you wanting these holidays behind you. Your family took a double hit this past year and this stuff is hard. I'm looking forward to the solstice, gaining daylight, and a new year filled with potential. (And being able to write again).

Here's to both of us feeling love and happiness and a lessening of the hurt.
Dec. 16th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
I've had a Cooper's Hawk, too. He poaches the doves. Rotten hawk.

I'm glad your fog is starting to lift, and I'm hoping that your holidays won't be too rough.
Dec. 16th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
Ooh, have you seen him get a dove? I don't begrudge the predators their prey but I admit to being glad I didn't witness any mayhem this morning.

Thanks for the kind words regarding the fog and me. I can see my hand in front of my face so that's a good sign, right? We're going to Florida to be with my mom which means sea air which means improved emotional state. That's my mantra.
Dec. 16th, 2008 01:45 pm (UTC)
Big, big hugs to you, Tracy.
You are in my heart this season.
Dec. 16th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much, De. And since you've got one of the biggest hearts around, there will be room for me to dance. Maybe even hoop.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )


a.k.a. Tracy Abell

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