Once again I find myself unable to aptly convey how touched I am by your comments, love and support. All I can say is thank you, thank you for reaching out, thank you for sharing your story, thank you for holding a thought of comfort.
People handle loss and grief in their own way. There is no right and no wrong. You do the best you can do at any given moment. What worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. It just takes time.
I’m giving myself that time.
Having lost my husband two years ago and my brother last March, I’m perhaps a bit better “equipped” to handle a profound loss of my mother than most would be. I know the ‘stages of grief’ all too well. When a wave of emotion seemingly comes out of nowhere, I’m not totally blind-sided. I’m giving in to my body’s need for naps. My mind is a bit groggy-foggy so I’m trying to write things down more often. And on, and on.
All that being said, I’m staying busy. I like ‘busy’. It’s a coping mechanism for me. Both painting and writing are cathartic – even if you’re not grieving. I’m also occupying my time with the house. Mom and I chose this house for many reasons, one of which being that it’s “dual-living” with her living upstairs and me on the bottom level. Now that I’m here by myself, I have the freedom to change things around, however I want.
It’s utter bliss.
I haven’t lived by myself for nearly 25 years. I’ve always enjoyed solitude, even when I was younger, so being by myself doesn’t bother me at all. Quite the opposite!
Now, my dear friend who helped so much with Mom’s care comes by daily and it’s been a Godsend. She’ll pick something up from the store, vacuum, play with the dog, and – if I want – just let me work. It’s a huge blessing. Even though I enjoy being by myself, it’s wonderful to have company too. But then, she’s special. We’re totally frank and open with each other. If I want to nap, I tell her. Or whatever. She’s been a huge help – not just since Mom passed but with those final days too. (I’m trying to get her to start a blog about homecare because she is so knowledgeable, caring, and understanding. I’ll let you know if I’m successful.)
Anyway, many people have asked me why I would want to stay by myself in a 2300 sq. foot house out in the ‘sticks’. Because I LOVE IT, that’s why! Not only that but, as I said, I won’t make any major changes for a while. There is so much to do here too. I couldn’t imagine moving with all of the stuff we have, anyway. Not to mention some of my brother’s belongings as well.
So I’m slowly going through small areas, a little at a time. Boxes for donation, some things might be sold, and lots of . . . “stuff”. To some it might sound horrible, going through your mother’s belongings, purging, organizing, and moving your own stuff into “her space”.
To me, it’s a blessing. The silver lining of the dark cloud of grief.
One last note – my neighbor/landlord told me to go ahead and ‘do what you want’ as far as decorating the house. I’d mentioned a couple of projects to him before Mom passed so he knows I’ve been anxious to transform our not-so-lovely Harvest Gold kitchen. He gave me carte blanche to do what I want. Of course I’ll pass everything by him first since it’s his house but it’s so much fun to visualize, dream, imagine.
While I’m moving slowly, taking my time to heal, I am moving. Moving forward.
It feels pretty darn good too.
Again, thank you all for your condolences and understanding. It means more than I can say.
Maureen Hayes says
You are a strong woman and an inspiration. You continue in my prayers and thoughts. Please know I am available if you ever want to “talk”.
Lorrie Koenig says
It was good to find your message and hear that you are doing okay. As you said, you need to find your new “normal”. Nothing will be the same but you are moving forward and that is good. As far as that much space, I am happy for you. Since you are a creative person, you can dedicate areas to each creative endeavor you like to do. Changes will not erase all the memories of your loved ones. Those memories remain in your heart.
Brittany aka Pretty Handy Girl says
I’m glad you are finding those silver linings right now. I’m thinking about you a lot and wish I lived closer to help you. Take care, I’m thinking about you a lot.
Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say. It can be such a difficult time when we must “walk through it to get to the other side” and I’m glad to hear you are cherishing the memories while moving forward to whatever is next in your journey. I’m positive it will be a grand adventure! Take care and take wing,, Colleen!
hey gal,You come back when you are ready,but you know I’ve all ways’ heard all my life When you have a close one & they pass 2 more will allway’s pass in 3’s most time in my life way happen’s .But part life you dont’ know one day from another if your gonna be here,but you strong for deaths in your family & I know you strong lady & you will do fine,God bless you ..,I’m lucky been long one I’ll be 70 tomorrow,have lost all my family down through years & it hurts all way’s will. Cookie
Lorraine Skala says
Your post today was lovely and “real”. My heart was warmed to see that your a slowly putting the pieces back together. I commend you for the positive way you look at everything. Keep going and take those naps when you need them. The body restores best in a state of deep sleep. You have had a rough few years!