Saturday, January 22, 2011

4 months

The 22nd has arrived yet again, marking 4 months since my dear Vern left this earth. I don't know that I've made fantastic progress - but I'm taking the time I feel I need, to do the things I think I need to do. Does that make sense?  I guess I'm just trying not to judge myself with "I should'ves" as far as my grief journey is concerned.  Our cancer journey was unique and this next stage is uniquely mine. At the beginning, I felt I needed to read as many grief books as possible. I learned a lot and was reinforced that what I was feeling so often really wasn't unique at all. And I learned that it's perfectly normal to make forward progress and then have a setback. So I'm trying to just feel my way through this and not have any expectations.  It is what it is (a favorite saying of mine).  I've had friends say I need to do this or that ... and while their advice may be wise, I no longer feel an obligation to follow it. When the timing is right, then I'll take those next steps. 

And with that said, I'm rather proud that I took some forward steps this week:
  • I'm joining co-workers at The Melting Pot after work Wednesday (my first time there).
  • I'm attending a former co-worker's annual chili party on Saturday.
  • I bought a couple of "squares" for the Super Bowl from a co-worker to make it a bit more fun to watch the game. Was also invited to their big party, but the game falls on Vern's birthday and I'd prefer to have that day to myself, so I declined.
  • I started a beginning yoga class last week and will be going there Tuesdays after work.
  • I'm going on my first Red Rock canyon hike Feb. 5 with friends.
  • I've vowed that this will be the last weekend I allow myself to "cocoon" the entire 3 days - and I may actually venture out today or tomorrow.
I continue to gain so much from my fellow widows/ers and their blogs, along with my Thursday online bereavement support group. I cannot tell you how much it helps to share thoughts, feelings and experiences with those who truly understand.  One of the blogs brought me to a beautiful song I hadn't heard before. It's from the Broadway show "Wicked" and is about the friendship between Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West ... but it touched me deeply with words that applied to how I feel about Vern:  "Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."  I've added it to my "Special You Tube Videos" listed under "Resource Links" over in the right-hand column if you'd like to listen to it.

I still feel a need to visit the oncology office and dialysis center, but whenever I drive by either location I'm still overcome with emotions and memories. There were very few visits to either place when Vern felt well. And I'm a little afraid I might not get the responses I'm looking for - and that could send me backward in my healing.  Perhaps this is something I'm just not going to be able to do. I've started to write personal notes to the special people who helped Vern & I navigate that horribly difficult cancer road, but I just haven't been able to express my feelings the way I want.  Guess this task will just have to stay on my list for awhile.

"I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it."  Maya Angelou


Boo said...

I think you are doing good Dianne, and the most impressive thing here is that you are doing what you feel you are ready to do, you're doing what intuitively feels ok, and you're listening to yourself. It's so important to realize (as you have done) that you don't have to take on everyone's advice. I mean most of them are well-meaning but if their spouse hasn't died, seriously, what do they know? And even other widows ... what worked for them may not work for you :-)

it's your loss, your life, your grief. You own it. No one should ever tell you how to feel or that you're not moving on, or ....

Connecting to other widow/ers for me personally is the biggest help.

Please just remember to be kind and gentle to yourself. If you do need to cocoon yourself, so be it. Give yourself permission.


Unknown said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that it helps to remember that Vern is no longer in pain and is at peace. I love what you posted about your street glittering. I agree with you that Vern wanted you to know he was okay. You have been so strong through this entire process. You are a such wonderful lady. When I lost my brother I just took it a day at a time. I had good and bad days, but in time I just learned to focus on the good memories. I truly feel blessed that he was in my life even though it was for such a short time. Sending you a hug and prayer. Jennifer McMartin