My posts of late have not been particularly happy or perky. With good reason.
I realized one week ago (November 3) that it had been three years since my mother spoke to me.
I realized today that November 3 of this year marks the last time my friend, Sandra, spoke to me.
Four days later, on November 7, my friend passed away just shy of her 47th birthday – she was 8 months younger than I am.
Today is the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s passing.
Tomorrow I’ll be preparing to travel to Kansas to attend my friend’s memorial service. A concept I still haven’t wrapped my brain around.
I have no doubt that the coming days will bring more posts that aren’t particularly perky. But that seems to be what October and November have brought to me in the last few years – life events that aren’t particularly happy ones.
So, what do I do?
I can go on being sad, depressed, angry, apathetic, etc. Or I can kick myself in the ass and realize that this is NOT what my mother or friend would want me to be doing. Yes, there is time for grieving. Yes, I will grieve more in the coming days, weeks, months. But do I honor them by grieving 24/7? Aren’t I dismissing what they each taught me about living life, loving others, making a difference?
I’ve seen people saying they’ve found distractions for themselves to deal with their anger and sadness over the loss of a friend, colleague, mentor, etc. Distractions are good – houses get cleaned and “to-do” lists get completed. I tried to find some distractions, too. There weren’t many, unfortunately. Not when all of that stuff I mentioned above converged at the same time.
But, I think I need to start balancing the intense feelings with more distractions. With things that will remind me that there are things I can do to not only help me with the grief, but also help me to live up to the examples they’ve set.
Tomorrow, there are things to do before heading to Kansas. So, I’ll do them. I’ll set my focus and get them done. Though, the reason for completing these tasks will, of course, weigh heavily on my heart. Fortunately, between Thursday and Sunday I will be surrounded by friends. We will comfort each other. I’m sure we’ll laugh as we share our stories about Sandra. And we’ll heal…a little bit. Just a little bit. But it’s a start.
I’ll return to my home and, as I used to say to Sandra, I’ll knuckle up and go headlong into the fray. The holidays are upon us…and there are things to be done. People are depending on me. I’ll cook the turkey and meat dressing for Thanksgiving the way my mom and gram used to do. Then I’ll bake and bake and bake…just to give it all away and share it with the people I love in this world like my gram would do every year. Then I’ll bake some more. And I’ll add that baking to the lasagna and meatballs (and maybe brociole) I’ll cook for Christmas dinner with my family. Again, like Mom and Gram used to do.
In between the baking and the cooking, I’ll read books and review them. And I’ll get lost in the words and worlds of these books. And when I write the reviews, I’ll think about the conversations Sandra and I would have about reading and writing and life.
Through all of this, I’ll feel that connection to some of the people who were so very important in my life. And the grief will be tempered by my memories.