Saturday, April 21, 2012

Griefwalking Observed

Our society is so instan-oriented, I feel almost embarrassed and ashamed to admit that three months after my mother's death, I still haven't "moved on."  Well, yes, I have in some ways since the acute stage of grief is passed and I am functioning more or less.  I mean, the taxes were filed on time.  The kitty litter box is scooped regularly.  Even the dishes are done most of the time.

But a lot of things are left undone. The dining room hasn't been vacuumed in I don't know how long. There are still half-drunk bottles of soda from my mother's after-funeral gathering in the refrigerator. There is a mound of laundry on the chair in my bedroom that hasn't been put away.  There are creative projects that I haven't even thought of in three months. 

I read about people who not only are back functioning 100% in this time frame, they've conquered new mountains and completely reinvented themselves. I haven't.   I feel like I'm a griefwalking laggard.

On days like today, when the sun is out I feel like I "should" be feeling more positive, more energetic, more vim-and-vigor ready to tackle life (or at least weeding the flowerbeds).  Instead, I feel a grey blanket of sadness drape over my shoulders and the tears pool just behind my lashes. It's as if I am seeing through a smudged window.  I know that there is sunlight and laughter and good times and joy out there, but I'm on the other side of the glass.

It's not just mother I grieve. It's all the other losses of life, all the other sorrows, all the other things that were not completely mourned in their season that compound the current griefwalk. I mourn decisions I made that I now regret.  People I let slip away.  Opportunities that I failed to take advantage of. Choices that I made that turned out to be less than I expected. Purchases made that didn't satisfy. Love that wasn't given...or received.  

I grieve over not having had enough foresight to have planned better for this stage of life.  For not having better prepared emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually for this time.  For having been too much of a grasshopper and not enough of an ant when I knew all along this day would come.

But then, I try to stop and remind myself that living in regret over the past is no more productive than worrying myself sick about the future.  There is only today...even if it is being viewed through a smudged window.

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