Today I write to tell about another way of processing. I write to *relay* rather than to process. Visiting my therapist recently, he suggested, for the second time, that I try to clean the clutter in my house, and that would help my grieving process. And I, incredulously--for the second time--asked the question, " And this doesn *what* for my grief?" He smiled, and I capitulated. "Routine: shower, coffee, and address one pile of clutter." FINE.... I'LL DO IT.
On one particularly difficult day I called my husband at work, sobbing. I felt too much, it was too hard, I couldn't understand why I was so debilitated by grief. (Un) fortunately he couldn't talk, and suggested I called someone, (which of course I could not do as an isolator). Five minutes later, my dear friend M called. Apparently my husband had texted her, worried for me. M calls, tells me, and I sob to her for the next hour. Beautiful friend she is, she gently lead me out of the hole and back into the light. I felt so much better. A week later, my other dear friend, H, called, "just to talk." We don't phone each other just to talk. But it was lovely, and I love her. She is fighting her own battles, as is M. I love them both. I felt better.
Perhaps that same night, or a few nights later, again out of desperation to figure out where people go after they die, and missing my father terribly, I posted a question or really posed a subject for discussion: "What is your definition of a soul?" Wow, friends popped in from all over, giving me their takes on this concept! It was wonderful. I felt better.
A friend messaged me privately and asked if I'd like to meet for coffee to talk further. What did I have to lose? Okay. We talked for a couple of hours that Saturday, over coffee and lunch; talked about soul, where people go when they die, and her particular faith's beliefs. I cried, spoke my childish wishes, desires about heaven. She, this wise young woman in her twenties, had so much to offer, and apparently she was grieving too, over a loss in her family. I felt better.
All the while, I'd been following my therapist's advice: shower, coffee, one pile of clutter. I realized that it was becoming not just one pile of clutter, but several. And then I realized I wanted to call a dumpster company---we had a lot of things we could let go. I felt great seeing that dumpster filled.
And the riskiest thing I did was contact a sensitive -- a person who can contact the dead -- to get a general reading about me (we'd never met) and then to find out what SHE gets from the word soul, or if even she got a message from my dad, or someone in my family who had passed away. She gave me validation of things bubbling under the surface in my life, bubbling, brewing, preparing me for a big change. And she said other things, too, that reminded me who I am--not who I am in grief, but Who I Am. And then she shared things from the other side that convinced me there IS an "other side." I wept , I thanked her. My dad said, "Go and live your life! You freed me, now go!" I felt better. Better than better.
Another new friend called and suggested we get together to talk about life. I said Sure, Why Not? And we talked for two hours, not so much about my sadness, my questions, but about her and her life. I felt better after that, too. Having it not about me, but about something important to my friend.
My house is clean. Almost ready for visitors clean. Almost ready for a party clean. Stupid how that worked, because I feel better. And all these personal interactions, my open vulnerability with people who knew I was vulnerable worked--I've heard it's called "reaching out"--
I feel like I have one solid foot back in the world, after this past month. I am no longer teetering but neither am I fully planted. Writing has it's benefits, and wow, have I learned that replacing that awful hole with honest work, accepting the reaching out of friends and reaching out myself...I am finally healing. xo