Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Finally feeling better--at last!

It certainly took long enough! Good grief!

Just an update to let ya'll know how I am. Better. Much better. And when I compare me now to me last year, I can't believe how much better I'm doing and how much better I'm feeling. My brain no longer feels like it's been hit with a shovel. Try it sometime. That will replicate just part of the feeling. That, and dropping without warning into a deep chasm...just walking along, doot doo doo, la la la, shovel, chasm. Or was it chasm, shovel? I think it was more like chasm, shovel. Started to collect myself and CLANG!!!

My point. My point? My point is, don't try this at home, kids. I really could have used some warning on this whole grief thing. Even a day to brace myself, I think, would have helped the whole cognitive dissonance/generalized WTF?!?!? sensation. I'm trying to describe it from a year and four months later. For some reason it's gotten harder to keep count. I've never been good at counting. Or math. I have downright dyscalculia (like dyslexia, but for math), frankly, and I'd get it officially diagnosed if I had the grand it would take to do so. Always have, but the whole mental rescrambling that grief has done to my brain hasn't exactly helped.

Life in general. It's better. I am actually feeling motivated to--get this!--wear lip gloss. OMG. What a step. A year ago any form of makeup, even lip gloss (at least of any color) seemed like a complete waste of time. Getting ogled at the beach actually annoyed me. No, not just annoyed. It made me mad. It made me mad that it wasn't Nelson to look that way at me, and that he wouldn't be there to look that way at me any more, and these random guys were a poor substitute.

Right now? I think I'd be more like, eh, who cares. So that's progress of a sort. I suppose.

I also wore an actual bracelet to church. A fancy silver cuff, from India, which I bought back in the '90s when both silver and gold were cheaper and when I had actual money ( incidental expenses!). I've pondered doing such things before but this was the first time I felt motivated enough to actually act on it. I think that means something. I don't know what.

Also, unlike last year, I can contemplate dating a guy who isn't Nelson without feeling nauseated. Yes, last year (the first year) I would literally feel sick to my stomach at the thought of dating another guy. Now...I can at least ponder the idea. The thought of acting on it still feels like too much work. I have too much else to do right now. I need to get a job. I need to get my hospital chaplaincy training (CPE) application in. I need to get the other aspects of my life restarted. I need to take care of me before I start thinking about being with somebody else. It just seems like good emotional housekeeping. 

I'm not judging anybody who does/did it a different way. We're all in more or less the same boat, but we didn't all come from the same starting point, and things pan out slightly (sometimes very) different for everybody depending on all kinds of things. So I'm not being judgy. I'm just saying this is where I am right now. I'm just trying to take this thing one day at a time. I pretty much went "Splat!" I'm rebuilding. That's how it is.

I'm going to close by telling you one cool and very healing thing I've been doing this week, and that's going to the church services for the beginning of Great Lent. In the Orthodox Church, Great Lent (as opposed to Christmas Lent/Advent) starts on Monday, not Wednesday, and the whole first week of Lent is called Clean Week. Clean Monday, Clean Tuesday, etc. From Clean Monday through Clean Thursday, we celebrate a service that includes a wonderful hymn called the Canon of St Andrew of Crete. It's a hymn of repentence that includes scriptural examples from both the Old and New Testaments. It's really amazing how much scripture it covers. (I'm a church nerd, I like this stuff.) It's called Clean Week because Lent is kind of the Spring Cleaning of the soul. I like that idea. :)

The main hymn of the service was one that was going through my head a lot after Nelson died. I mean, it was going through my head pretty much constantly. And I never got to sing it last year--I missed the services since I was too much of a space cadet to figure out that they were having them in my area.

But this year, I've been going to the services and singing with the choir every night, and this hymn has been giving me chills every time. Every time. I love it! It goes like this:

My soul, my soul, arise!  Why are you sleeping?  The end is drawing near, and you will be confounded.  Awake, then, and, be watchful, that Christ our God may spare you, Who is everywhere present and fills all things.

I will close with the main refrain of the Canon, which is sung after every verse. Really, it is at the heart of Orthodox Christianity.

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

If I have offended any of you, or given you any hurt, please forgive me.


  1. God forgives, my sister.
    Please forgive me.

  2. I'm glad things are looking up for you. For very different reasons, I know what it is to be looking UP at the world from a chasm-dropped, shovel-brained perspective. Things have turned for me too.

    The other side, however, has been pretty amazing. And Christ is, interestingly, on both sides. As He said He would be.

  3. You havent offended me : ) So happy to see you feeling upbeat!

  4. I am glad to hear you are feeling better. Many say the second year is harder than the first, but for me it is a bit easier. I hope you continue to make progress in your healing.

  5. Just tonight I was trying to explain about the grief thing. I compared it to a violent head trauma - said it was like I lost half my IQ points. How afraid I was my brain function would never come back.

    Of course, now that I have brain function back I realize the fog of shock was absorbing so very much. Sometimes I wish I had that fog back.

  6. I am glad you are feeling better! Grief is a terrible thing, and it takes a while for our brains and shoulders to get used to carrying that extra heavy burden. Then we become accustomed to it. Then we start to heal.

    Your hymn reminds me of one called "It is well with my soul." Reading through the story behind the man who wrote that one will touch you, I think. I hope. :)

    Praying for you!

  7. *hug* hey you! I'm glad you're on the mend. I've been in a relationship since 9 months after Rich died. I don't do single very well. It was weird, and sometimes it still is, becaus I think J knows something, and he doesn't because it wasn't him tht I told, it was Rich. But there is no reason why you shouldn't date, when YOU are ready. And if you aren't ready 5 mins before a date, go anyway. If you aren't ready half way through a date, go home. That sounds odd? I know what I mean. I'll think on how to explain it better. But I'm glad you're thinking about it, you'll no doubt feel guilty at some point, but it's part of the way we get up and carry on.

  8. @Alicia--God forgives and I forgive! Also, Christ is risen! :)

    @DarcKnyt--Thank you. And I'm glad things have improved for you too. May they continue to improve! :)

    @Sunny-Glad to hear it. Offending is not what I'm after. FWIW, that phrase is how Orthodox Christians start Lent--basically asking everyone in church to forgive them--so I thought, to be thorough, say it on my blog too.

    @Kiki--Yeah, violent head trauma is indeed a good analogy. I also sometimes miss the fog and singleminded focus of the first year. It was awful, of course. But this year is an entirely different kind of difficult. It's a topic for another blog post...

    @DarcsFalcon--Thank you. I read the link. I'd heard the story before, but never so completely. I didn't realize it had a link to the story of the Shunamite woman--which, coincidentally, I heard just last week, during Holy Week, since it includes the story of Elisha raising her son from the dead. (Elisha, of course, is also a type of Christ.) Very touching. I love that they had another child, too. I didn't realise that his wife alone of his family survived the wreck.

    @s'me--I'm not a big fan of being single either, but I've done it. I was single for three years after my first relationship, an engagement that broke up a month before the wedding, went south. I'm torn here, because there's the whole biological clock thing (not that I know how much fertility I necessarily have left...I might have run out at 29 for all I know)...but I can only push myself so far on this. I have CPE stuff to handle. And other stuff. It's like, if this is not a career thing, or a crisis thing, I don't want to deal with it, and 'trying the relationship thing out again' is neither of those things. Later. Later when? Later, not now.

    Thank you, everyone for commenting! Sorry it took me so long to respond!

  9. Hira, now I know why my ears keep ringing, it was the shovel! 15 months here and just starting to see a flicker of light from somewhere up ahead. Course you're a whole year ahead of me and I was married almost 14 years. Had to stop the widow group in need of more encouraging outlook. You fit the bill nicely and congrats on your progress! Wishing more for you!


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