We really were built for this

Grief has something in common with pregnancy–our bodies know what to do, even if we don’t. You don’t need to understand it, you just need to go with it. We really were built for this. I trust this process.

The trip to the east coast did a lot to push me along this journey. There’s no going back. It’s clear that there’s nothing (nowhere, nobody) to go back to. My old life is gone. This is my life now.

That’s Acceptance, I guess.

While I can accept that this is my lot, I don’t like this life. It seems so barren, so colorless. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t aspire to this. And there’s nothing to aspire to these days. I’m stuck here. Now, I just get things done.

Chop wood, carry water…fill the dogs’ water bowl, mop the floor, make the kids’ lunch, drive them here, drive them there. Do it today, clean up, then do it again tomorrow. I know this work is important, but I feel like an unpaid servant. Moreover, it’s boring. Is it possible to be bored in the midst of crisis?

I shared me “blah” feelings with the acupuncturist. I explained that I’m pretty steady–I don’t freak out when things get bad, but I’m never enthusiastic, either. I’m not depressed, I’m just…blah. She said she had just the treatment for me: The Joy of Life.

Joy? Joy sounds nice.

I haven’t felt joyful since then. But I did find myself tearing up while listening to a mixed cd* a friend made for me. Tears of sadness, tears of gratitude, the reason didn’t matter. My friend cares about me, she sees the possibilities when I forget. I felt that. That’s something.

I sent off a revision to my co-author, came home, and tackled the family room, which has become the domain of the kids’ butterscotch binges and doggie den. I stripped the pillows and blankets and tossed them in the wash. I pulled out the special vacuum cleaner attachment and suctioned up layers of dog hair from the couch. I filled a bucket with said friend’s natural cleaning product and got down on my hands and knees to scrub the wood floor and reached way up to get the window frames. The room felt crisper, cleaner, and scented with lavender. The room is all ready for our James Bond marathon planned for Thanksgiving Day. We’ll sit out the national day of gratitude with some pies and a lot of James Bond. I didn’t feel joy, but I knew it was nice.

Maybe the joy can be wrung out of this sad, passionless life. It ends up that deprivation of passion, purpose, joy, is common in widows. Go figure.Maybe joy is not elation, but wringing out the possibilities in the little things. I don’t feel that, but I suspect it. I gotta trust it.



*All the linked songs are from the cd my friend made, naturally.


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