Most of my life I’ve lived in the memories of yesterday and the fear of tomorrows. I cannot remember when I last was looking forward to something, probably going to visit my best friend in Omaha last year. I rarely look forward to things because I get anxious about it, and by the time it comes around, I cancel. I have practiced and perfected this imperfection or character flaw for years, and when I spot it in someone else I take a deep breath and say a prayer for them because it really isn’t a good way to live life…plus it may upset friends, family, etc. I don’t know why I’m like this, I am working hard on changing it. The one thing I have learned is to NOT commit to things I’m unsure of. Just as “NO” is a full sentence, so is “Let me think about it, and I’ll get back to you”. Ms. Yes of course needs to retire.
I am grateful I had therapy today, in which I cried most of it, and I’m sharing that only because I experienced my favorite emotion, which is laughter through tears. There is nothing any better than releasing pent up or intense feelings like a good old belly roll. Humor. Perspective. The ability to laugh at yourself.
My therapist told me that this person that I have been, caretaking, putting others ahead of myself, is being sent to the unemployment office. I found this very funny. Next time I’m trying to change something about myself, or I’m worrying about something in which I have no control, I will be sending worrier to, you guessed it, the unemployment office. She’s fired!
Tomorrow my family will be having a memorial service, a funeral for my oldest sister, Karen. Tomorrow we shall say the final goodbye as her ashes will be buried with my paternal grandparents. It has been a very very long time since I have attended this part of a funeral. In fact, I have bypassed many funerals of people I have loved and lost because it is just too painful. My mother used to always say “Bring me flowers when I’m alive, not to my grave”. And yet today, I brought my mom up to a local nursery whom we are loyal to (let’s keep these mom & pop shops open!) and we picked out four plants that will be at the service, and then planted at her grave.
One thing I have struggled with with my youngest sisters passing is, there is no grave to visit. Her ashes are now in Lake Tahoe with her former partner. They made the decision that their ashes will be spread together, at a place near and dear to them. I have had a hard time with this, not because I think it’s a bad thing, I just would like to visit “her” somewhere. The same is true with Jim’s ashes.
When I have lost loved ones, I am always aware of the fact that regardless of my broken heart, life goes on. The birds still chirp, the sun still rises, the world doesn’t stop for us to catch up. It seems so cruel at the time, and then given time, it becomes a gift. Life goes on, I have choices. I can either live in yesterdays memories, feel fear about my future, or I can stay in the present. Today I stayed in the present. As I walked I was aware of my legs and feet moving and touching ground. I am learning, I am growing, I am getting better from this awful depression. I am letting go of people that I held with a tight grip, some white knuckling, as I didn’t want to let them go. I am learning that its necessary for me to let them go, and am working through this with my therapist. Loss is very hard, it is by far the hardest trek I have ever experienced in my life, but it’s a fact of life. Letting go of Jim was something I never thought I’d do, but I am doing so with the help of my therapist. I think I held on so tight to departed loved ones (which was really an illusion as they are indeed gone) because I didn’t want to ever “forget” them. You know what? As I am letting go of the grip, I feel him, his presence. He is with me, as is my youngest sister, and as will be my oldest.
Todays lesson for me is indeed, to stay in the present. xxx