Monday, June 7, 2010

Feeling Stuck

Today I feel so stuck!
Originally uploaded by
Jerry Lentz

Tonight I'm feeling a bit down on myself. All weekend the kids and I have been boxing up household items we don't use daily, and putting them into a new storage locker that I rented. We then went through all of their things once again, and bagged up items that we want to drop off at the local Salvation Army for donation. Yesterday the boys and I emptied all the contents of their attic bedrooms, furniture included, so that new carpet could be installed today. Then this afternoon, all of us put everything back in the boys rooms. All of this took many trips up and down the stairs, and now my poor body is feeling a bit achy.

In spite of yesterday's hard work, I also managed to cook dinner, which doesn't happen very often around here any more. To be fair to myself, we are very busy trying to ready the house in the event that we are moving sometime soon, and with that, putting the house up for sale. Yet, as I ran an errand this afternoon, and brought home dinner, I began to miss the days long past when Michael and I cooked almost every meal.

I could tell that the kids have missed the home cooked meals, as they each made such a fuss about yesterday's dinner. This is one area where I have yet to fully recover from the initial shock to my system that happened when Michael died. It's been almost 9 months now, and I still have not yet picked up my stride. And while it's not like my kids go without, I do feel terrible that I haven't been able to get back much of my groove.

There are other indicators that also tell me how much I am slacking off. Summer is here, and I have yet to look into a summer day camp for my youngest son. Every year I have him registered in a camp that can keep him occupied, and out enjoying summer activities with other kids. This year I haven't scheduled one thing. I kept meaning to do it, but have nothing but lame excuses to give myself.

And although we had a lot to accomplish on the house these past three days, I should have done something with the kids to acknowledge the end of the school year. I should have taken them somewhere, or did something. Now I am heading off to work in the morning, and I have nothing in place for them.

Again, I get that I am doing the best that I can. I get that I am still hurting from losing Michael, hurting more than I am willing to admit, but I don't like how my life feels at the moment. I wish I could rise above all this, and move forward easier. I wish that I could do more for, and with, my kids.

I trust that life will get easier, and possibly better. It's just that I feel so stuck right now. I feel stuck on the fact that I miss him so much. My mind tells me that he is gone, and there is nothing that is going to change that. I can never have him back. Death is about as final as it gets. So what is it about final that my heart doesn't seem to understand?


  1. it is my thought that you are being too hard on yourself. dealing with grief and raising children is one of the hardest things to do. you have continued admirably at being a parent while missing Michael as you have.

    as for the finality of death, and accepting it, i believe it will be difficult to accept it all along the way. the realization that the one person we fit with so well, loved so deeply, and wanted with all our souls is gone from this life can be debilitating. setting logic aside and clinging to faith and hope, we are always looking at that promise of seeing them again in the afterlife. so how can they be gone when we hold onto that promise? seeing how absent they are here while looking at that hazy road ahead where we may meet them again is like standing on a precipice on a very foggy day. we shout "hello" and wait, and hope, to hear if it is their voice that comes back.

    peace to you.

  2. but I don't like how my life feels at the moment. I wish I could rise above all this, and move forward easier. I wish that I could do more for, and with, my kids.

    Just guessing, but I think that will come in time. I liken what has happened to all of us as being like a fire. Early in our relationships, we burned like wildfires. Later on, we were like crackly glowing fires in a big fireplace - yule logs burning - and our homes were happy places as we cooked and did all kinds of other wonderful things together. Then our fires were almost extinguished by being stomped on and a bucket of cold water thrown on top - trying to kill our last spark. Well, we're still here, and we're still burning, but we have a lot of recovering to do before we are more than a flicker. I believe that so much of how we feel is about energy, and it's all being used up just coping and dealing with our grief. There isn't a hell of a lot left over for cooking nice dinners, playing games, or anything else. I have tried to explain this to people who have visited me down in Arizona, and think there's something "wrong with me" because I don't want to go out to dinner or a show in the evening, etc.. By then, I've just had enough for one day and I need to rest so I can get up and start all over the next day. The fire in my soul is not very strong yet. It only has so much fuel to burn each day and then it is in danger of going out. It's true that I manage better as time goes by - much better than in, say, October 2008. But I'm nothing like the person I was before that. Working on this house makes me very conscious of how much I've changed. I don't have that old stamina and spunk that used to give me a huge amount of drive when working on projects. Now, I'm more of a "putzer". I putz along, working at a much reduced speed with plenty of little breaks througout the day. Maybe that's good. Anyhow, as wNs wrote up above, don't be too hard on yourself. Give yourself time to just get over what you've been through. Remember, this has been a cumulative thing - not just dealing with death, but also the period before of being a caregiver. That alone is pretty exhausting and takes a very long time to recover from. A year or even more would not be long enough.

  3. Oh my friends, those metaphors are so right on. Bucket of cold water thrown on the merrily burning blaze that was our family, that had been built on the foundation of our love. And what happens when you throw water on a fire? If it doesn't go our completely, what you have left is a charred, smoking mess. Sputtering weakly. That is where I am right now. We are all these depleted smoking brave little campfires dotted among the normal world which still burns brightly.

  4. I was telling my MIL over the weekend that I use very few of my "grown-up" skills these days; that instead of using the actual communication tools I have, I am avoidant when I can be, sullen, non-direct, and distant when I can't avoid. Seems silly, but it helped immensely when she told me that I do not have to use my skills. Just surviving at this time is enough to ask of myself. It is a fine line, though, between being gentle on myself and allowing myself to fester. Certain "hanging" situations are likely a far greater drain to leave hanging than to just resolve, though feeling resentment that I even HAVE the issue to resolve drains the energy needed to do so. And then disappointed in myself for not.... oh, everything.

    You know it's okay to be slower and disinterested. Doesn't mean you like being that way, or that it is okay with you. Understanding why you are how you are now doesn't exactly help. Part of the whole insanity.

    I so completely miss who I used to be; I don't enjoy being this me. but I am tired and beaten and afraid of what I could turn into, left here in this life too long. I like bev's fire images. "A guttering flame" has been working for me lately. Can't ever really go out, being eternal and all, but man can it get low.

    And, I like wns' thoughts - if we believe that our love is still our love, then they aren't totally gone. This is an adjustment to living on two different planes, moving together in different ways. A crappy, insane, WTF adjustment that entirely entirely sucks. If I start believing - telling myself - that there is nothing: no love, no god, no trust, no matt anymore, no anything, then I am really in the tank. There has to be. There was before - I believed it because I lived it. Can't possibly be ditched by said god/love NOW of all times. ??? Oh dear. I could go on a very long ramble now, with no provocation at all.


  5. As a friend of mine likes to say, "All you can do is all you can do." While we are grieving, our "all" is less than it was before... and that's okay because it's just the way it is. Be gentle with yourself, Dan.

    I love the fire metaphor - so very apt! And I have to believe that, like a phoenix, I will one day rise from the ashes and fly again. I HAVE to believe this. If I don't, there seems no point in struggling on.