Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving without T

From Joann Didion's book "The Year Of Magical Thinking: "You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends (her husband died while they were eating dinner togther)."

In our case: We sat down to watch TV on June 18th and life as we knew it ended.

We made it through Thanksgiving day and the holiday weekend.

My kids and I had a few good talks.

I teared up briefly a few times but, in general, did pretty well emotionally.

They were also both willing to give me some feedback on some things I can do to improve.

I'm thankful for that.

I've been pretty proud of all the roles I've assumed but there's always room for improvement, especially in regards to better communication.

T was great at planning and communicating.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

There's no place like home

Both children got home yesterday, from college, for Thanksgiving.
Before they arrived I spent a fair amount of time thinking about how to act and what to say in order to appear as happy/up-beat as possible.
I didn't want them to see me sad-now over 5 months since Tori died.
I didn't spend any time thinking about how they would feel in coming home for the first time and for the first significant holiday since going back to college in August.

Both have been quiet and noticeably sad.
I should have anticipated it but didn't.
My son even expressed "hating being home."
I've had a few months alone to work through my feelings of being in our home without T.
We were able to discuss that last night.
They've been away at college and distracted.
They need time.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Let's get real

Inspirational quotes, especially those dealing with resiliency, have frequently been included in the books and articles I've written over the years.

I would also often quote or paraphrase them for patients I saw who had suffered a loss as encouragement.

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."
"When in doubt, just take the next small step."
"Life isn't always fair, but it's still good."
"Everything can change in the blink of the eye. But don't worry; God never blinks."
"Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying."

I've learned that such quotes, however, are much easier to accept and be uplifted by when things, such as a major life event or loss are imaginary, not reality.

"It's different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others."

I didn't completely appreciate that in the past.

I do now.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Two steps forward, one back

It was just one of those days.

I've actually been doing pretty well lately, emotionally, until today.

It was a day of too much time to myself.

A lot was done-laundry, housework, yard work and paid bills but my only interaction with another living being was with my dog.

I've had days that were similar in the past when Tori was away for a day-trip, with one big difference.

They started and ended with being able to talk with her.

I'm back to work in the morning.

Too much time alone won't be a problem for at least the next 5 days.

Monday, November 9, 2015

I have parted with the band

I came across the following quote recently:

"Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be"

Our wedding vows included the classic phrase "until death do us part."

The symbol of our marriage, my wedding band, was always something that I was so proud to wear.

I was blessed with a wonderful marriage and two awesome children.

The band also held up through too numerous to count hours of yard work, dishes and sports over the years.

T's death parted us 140 days ago but I wasn't able to let go of the band on my finger until a few days ago.

It's now in my bedside table.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Poker face

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand"-Randy Pausch.

A co-worker mentioned to me today that I seemed to be doing pretty well.

I thanked her.

I've never been very good at poker because I've never been able to bluff effectively.

Maybe I've acquired a new skill?

1 and 2 and 3 and ...

I re-certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) today.

I resuscitated my adult and infant manikins.

I passed all the skill stations.

The last time I attempted BLS was on T.

My success with the manikins was better then my success on June 18th at approximately 9 pm.

I've thought a lot about that today.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Less tears=clearer vision

From "A Grief Observed" by CS Lewis:

"Something quite unexpected has happened. My heart is lighter than it has been for weeks. And suddenly at the very moment that, so far, I mourned the least, I remembered her best."

Tomorrow will be day # 133 of Life without T.

Mornings have always been the worst time of the day for me but recently have been less intense.

Her presence is everywhere but my thoughts have been more positive, not as oppressively sad.

That's been a welcome change.