Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Light-hearted Reprieve

the smile

Today delivered a bit of an light-hearted reprieve from the otherwise heavy grief laden days of late.

Now that was a wordy sentence!

I find that my day to day emotions don't always follow any set format, or a direct cause and effect relationship with other factors. Some days I am just down, and some days I am just up. Of course lately my emotions have been weighing heavy around my heart, and tied to the memories of where I was a year ago at this time.

Last year I was preparing my husband Michael for death. I was busy meeting all of his physical and emotional needs. Some things I was feeling, but mostly I was putting my emotions, and needs, aside in order to focus on his. This year I find that my body, and mind, are following a pretty specific road map, which entails all the bumps and turns that are the emotional landmines that were laid into place last year. I can either chose to look for them, and carefully navigate each day, or I can just go about my business, and be open to what ever comes my way.

There is no correct way to do this. Some days it is helpful to know why I am feeling about the way I am. There will definitely be days that I will want to anticipate so that I can surround myself with either support, or space, to feel what it is I need to feel that day. And yet what I find is that if I over anticipate my emotions I will likely limit what the experience of each day might actually be.

Today has been a surprising reprieve from those more difficult and sorrowful days. My heart is light, and my worries are fewer. I seem to be wearing a natural smile on my face, and there is a bit of a bounce to my step, which I have enjoyed. I don't think that I could have planned this type of day. Most days I do wake up wanting to have a good day, and to not feel that intense pain of loss. Yet if the pain is due to come, then I don't find it helpful to deny it. I may delay it for a more convenient time in the day for a full expression of it, but I don't have the power to completely control it.

Light hearted days, like today, are little jewels during periods like this. I know that having a day like this likely means that there are more of them on their way, as the difficult days have somewhat dominated for some time. It's a nice built in reminder that grief has it's ups and downs, or as others like to say, peaks and valleys. It is neither linear, or completely predictable. For me, I am trying to adopt the notion that with time, the lighter days will be what I can count on, and the difficult days will be more familiar, thus less threatening.

I accept this reprieve with gratitude.

Late night add on:

Tonight at my yoga class one of the other guys was standing next to me as I removed my shirt. He turned to me to say that he had not had the opportunity to see all the tattoos that I had on my back up close. He then reach over to outline one of the tattoos, which was the lotus with Michael's initials on it. "I especially like this one" he said. I felt so much warmth come over me. I just smiled, and said thank you. He has no idea what the tattoo means, or what this simple gesture did for me


  1. Hugs - happy you are having a reprieve.

  2. For me, I am trying to adopt the notion that with time, the lighter days will be what I can count on, and the difficult days will be more familiar, thus less threatening.

    That's about how it seems to have become for me over the past year or so. Also, on those difficult days, I've found a few fairly effective ways to deal with the dark thoughts if that seems necessary, but most times, I just let them happen and they eventually drift off, like dark clouds that mass and then disperse. Nice that you had that small interaction at the yoga class. Unexpected and spontaneous interactions can be so uplifting - sort of like a sudden pleasant breeze blowing through the window.