The last few days have proven to be somewhat of a challenge and eye opening as well. Seeing as it has only been a scant five months since I moved back, I have started to go through the pile of boxes in my garage which take up half of it. Due time, don’t you think?
I find it difficult to go through the boxes, as there are reminders of my previous lives (that’s right, lives) contained in each one. So I tried to break them down into categories. Andy’s childhood, Sam, Max, and Addie. Now normally one would think what, a box each maybe? Well……Sam has around five boxes, Andy three, Max and Addie…OMG. Oh and I can’t forget about me, I try, but to no avail.
Any who, I start to take a razor knife to the boxes and cut them into bite size chunks (don’t worry, no running on the treadmill backwards stories), and put the packing paper in the recycle bin. Then I begin opening the boxes that are still full of God knows what. BOOKS! My lord do I have books. One medium box full of Jim Harrison, a lot David Baldacci paperbacks, Paulo Coehlo, fortunately I do have a place for them. Then I open two boxes of vinyl albums from the 1970’s – 1980’s. Then there are the four or five boxes of cassette tapes and cd’s. Good God Almighty, I need an organizer of some kind. So I start pitching. The first thing of note to go was the copper punch type picture, I made in Pauline Raynor’s 5th grade Science class of a baby fawn. I hauled that thing across the country and from house to house since then. Time to purge.
I have not yet subscribed to my Son Andy’s method of moving (100 yard dumpster in the driveway) but am starting to appreciate what he does.
Today’s post is the first of what I hope become essays on grief, that might help someone experiencing it. Grief is explained by some as a process, certain steps that everyone goes through. If there is one thing I have experienced during this time, it is that there are different kinds of grief and loss. It cannot be categorized by steps experienced in certain order.
There is little difference whether you know it is coming or not. The result is the same, you are alone. Maybe not at first, as right after it happens you are inundated with food, flowers and friendship. Of course at this stage you are numb and feel as if all of this is a bad dream, so you can’t take it all in. I must caution not to get rid of all their stuff right away, suggesting that if you have help, let them pack it up and put it away for a while. Reality comes calling after everyone goes home and you are left with all the reminders of your former life. The person you shared everything with is gone. You still talk to them, ask them what they think and desperately look for signs that they are with you. And they are. All that energy cannot just simply disappear over night.
Even though you don’t feel like it, it’s important to stay in touch with friends, but always be prepared to leave in a hurry, as at first it is hard. I had to call my friends at times and ask them to come over and just sit with me for a while. It helped beyond belief. I an m so blessed. Visiting a grief counselor also did me a lot of good and the girls at Blessed Sacrament in Allegan were an absolute God-send.
It didn’t happen overnight. Sam has been gone not quite 2 1/2 years and I still have a long way to go, but what I am saying is it does get better, God brings new people into your life to help fill the void, not take their place, but to enrich your life. Give you reasons to see you are really blessed and be able to pay it forward in some way. I am much more spiritual than before and try to appreciate what I have and not just sad over what I have lost.
I believe grief is something we never truly get over. As I read in a Jim Harrison book once, “A lifetime is not long enough to get over it.”