Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This is what I need.
I thought I would return to my blog tonight. I realize I have been absent for some time, as I really did need a break from the discipline of writing. I wish I could say it was a welcome break, or that it created space for some fun and enjoyable times, but life doesn't seem to work that way just yet.
The first thing that I found as I didn't write was that I was quite lonely. I have become so used to sharing my every thought and action with so many of you, and I have benefited so much from each of your responses. They really give the acknowledgement that I need. I think it's acknowledgement that while I am making progress, you know that it's a daily struggle. When I realized how difficult it was to not have this, I actually made myself hold back from writing to better understand what it is that I seek, and figure out how I can start having that need fulfilled here at home as well.
I have been going through a pretty bad depression. I have been sinking deeper and deeper, and worrying about where I was headed. The big problem was that I wasn't sharing it with anyone. Fortunate for me, I have a bit of a guardian angel, known as my cousin Fred, who paid me a visit this past weekend. We were able to get out of the house to talk heart to heart. He really gave me a lot to think about. I need to not isolate myself, especially during this difficult period. I need to seek help, support, or just some kind of activity. I don't need to make any major strides, just keep making some kind of effort.
Tonight I went to a meeting/workshop that was supposed to be focused on dealing with your grief during the holiday season. It was held at the Lesbian and Gay Center. I thought I might meet other widowers, yet I didn't find exactly what I was looking for. It was a very small turn out, and the few that did show up seemed to have other compounded issues that needed to be addressed. The end result was that the meeting seemed quite of task, but helpful in the end. I came away realizing how fortunate I am, and how many tools I already have in my grief tool chest.
I recognized that I have maintained a great sense of optimism in spite of my loss. I still see the world as a good place. I still see kindness in people, and I find compassion when I am willing to open up. As I shared at tonight's meeting, I don't go out into the world expecting anyone to take my grief away. I don't want someone to put their arms around me while I cry. It's just not me. When I am in that state I want to be alone. It's when I am alone with my tears that I can feel Michael's love holding me close. What I want in others, is to be willing to hear about my experience, and be willing to share theirs with me. I want serious talk, and some laughter. That is what reminds me that I am still in the land of the living.
In looking ahead at the holidays, I know what I need, and what I don't need. I need to be around my kids, and my family. I need to see the smiles on their faces, and see them interact with joy. I don't need over the top celebrations. I don't like to be around too much laughter quite yet. It is still a bit too painful, and it makes me feel out of place. I don't want to bring people down, or cause them concern. I just want to enjoy every one's company, but in a quiet way.
Therefore, the task at hand for me is to explain to my family what my needs are. I need to give them permission to enjoy the holiday as they like, yet allow me to be myself. I need to ask that they not try to cheer me up. I need to remind them that Michael is still always on my mind, so sharing a memory of him is a welcome gift. I would like them to be gentle with me, and to put their arms around me even if I say I am alright. With this I will be able to slowly come out of my shell. I will feel safe, and I will feel cared for. Most of all, I will feel understood.
What more could I ask for?