the grief chronicles

Yesterday was New Year's Eve and my husband and I were excited for our party plans.  Traditionally, we have made every effort to celebrate every new year on the shores of Lake Superior.  This year, I completely forgot about this ritual and had neglected to make a reservation.

Is this grief?

My husband's family of cousins always make a great party.  In fact, we love and look forward to sharing in their winter holiday traditions (sometimes, even their summer ones).

Last night we were invited to a favorite cousin's house for New Year's Eve.  Yesterday, we spent the entire day preparing: Peter did his (indoor) bike ride early, we squeezed in a familiar and easy brunch before a zillion errands (alright, eleven DID feel like a zillion).  We got home with just enough time for us to put away the groceries, bake the cornbread and prep the mini pickled vegetable kabobs I had thought would be fun to bring.

When all was finished and I started cleaning up the kitchen, a darkness came over me.  I acknowledged this and continued on, thinking it was just a passing something or other.
Meanwhile I started getting dressed and ready.  And, then, all of the sudden, with every step I took, every step became significantly more difficult than the last.

Is this grief?

Fully dressed and with all food and beverages packaged and ready to go, I climbed under my afghan while I waited for Peter to shower.  This could be perceived as my mistake - where I went wrong.  Looking back, though, at the time, it didn't feel like there was another option.

Is this grief?

When Peter got out of the shower I asked him to come and talk to me, thinking he'd give me one of his simple pep talks that would get me up and at 'em.  Well, he did give a pep talk but instead of getting me up and at 'em, his comforting presence prompted a puddle of tears and then uncontrollable sobbing.  I eventually found myself undressing, putting on sweatpants and getting under the covers completely.

Is this grief?

I am being very careful not to blame this behavior entirely on the loss I have recently experienced.  There are other variables.  I was on go all day without any stops in between.  Being the introvert AND cancer zodiac that I am, it's difficult for me to get out even though I have been known to have fun once I do.

I know better than to assume that what seemed to hit me sideways and continue throughout today is any forecast of 2019.  I know this can just be another day and days like this do happen.

One of the behaviors I started consciously working on this past year was to stop criticizing myself.  It wasn't a daily, conscious practice, though.  When preparing for 2019, I decided I wanted to take this on with a new focus.

So here I am, New Year's Day 2019, in my pajamas, staring at the wall, hobbling around a house (which still hasn't recovered from the holiday chaos).  The sun is shining but I feel like I really can't see it.  I find my old self (years and years of old self) telling my more newly healing self to buck up, to find that deep reservoir inside where there is possibly some crumb I can use as fuel to pull myself up and out of this.

Is this grief?

It is definitely clear I do not like being HERE.  Last night's party looked right up my alley.  From the photos, it looked like a more intimate gathering than most and there was a photo booth! I love photo booths...I can see I would have LOVED to see and be with all those who attended.

And yet, I want to start practicing the absence of self criticism.  Today.  The first day of this new year.  And I find this already extremely difficult.

Is this grief?


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