Post-Holiday Fog

Some days I sit down to blog with a sense of writing energy coming out of the tips of my fingers. There are thoughts in my head that seem to travel through my heart and come out on paper. I love blogging on nights like that.

Lately, the energy feels stuck and even though I have an idea or a thought it doesn’t seem to travel anywhere. Maybe you understand that feeling?

As I think about what is going on in my mind and heart in this past 10 days, I am aware that I feel like I am in a post-holiday fog.

fog.jpgAs I journaled about this fog, I began to name the dread I held in my heart as I was moving into the first Christmas without my Dad. We have learned over the years how to navigate the holidays around Len’s death and bigger than life absence. I did not know if I had it in me to do it again. But I knew our Family Christmas weekend and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and New Years Day would come and I was pretty determined to be ready for them.

I can say that overall it was a good Christmas. It wasn’t an easy Christmas, and we missed my Dad’s presence and Len’s presence in many spaces, but in the end, we lived present and honest and true to so much in all of those essential spaces.

But in the last 10 days, I am releasing the sadness and the ache and the relief that the holidays are over and I am aware that yes they were good and in my heart, they were equally hard. We did things differently in some ways, and it was good, and it was hard. We laughed, and we cried, and it was good and hard.

I used to be a Hospice Social Worker, and we would have Thursday night grief group, and I was often reminding them that usually, the hardest months of grief are months 3 thru 9. It is in those months that you realize this is the new normal and nothing feels normal yet about it. It is in these months when reality sets in and so does depression and deep sorrow.

I figured out tonight that since that day in May, it has been 7 months and 25 days.

And so, perhaps my writing thoughts have been lost in the fog of grief. A fog that maybe isn’t post-holiday, but just the fog of grief.

I also know that grief comes from more than the loss of life. I wonder if you have grief in your journey right now? Grief is powerful and invites us to spaces that feel uncomfortable to visit but so worthwhile to name.

Often I find myself thinking I should be further along or not so emotional.  It feels more honest to say that some moments are tough when I am met with the reality that my Dad isn’t here to watch my new garage go up, or I won’t be golfing with him in February in an annual trip to a warm place.

It feels good to name it and to know grief won’t overcome me, but it does live within me right now.

And with that, I will call it a night. I don’t have some fluid ending other than to say what my Dad said to my niece in the days after her Dad died; The Birds will sing in the morning! (even in the fog)

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Embracing 2019

Due to a technical error, this is being reposted from last night.
I have read lots of messages that people have written saying goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019. I have thought and wondered about what words I would use to do the same and honestly, I find those words challenging to comprise.
There is something in me that isn’t ready to release 2018.
And there is something in me that isn’t quite ready to embrace 2019.
But that really is silly since it doesn’t matter what I am ready for.
Each day will come as it does and ready or not, this year will be 365 days of opportunity, challenge, love, sorrow, laughter, work, invitation, fun, solitude, celebration, family time, regret, success, focus, transformation, and hope.
And so today I reflected on the fact that I don’t have a lot of words, but I am willing to choose a stance of embrace for 2019.
2018 was hard in so many ways, but there was so much good as well.
Yes, my Dad died in May of 2018, but that is not all that happened.
Yes, my grief feels like it has a steady stream in my heart, but Joy is also abundant in so many ways.
Yes, my family feels a vast gap in the spaces that Len and my Dad used to fill but we added Ellis this year and we grieve death, but we celebrate life.
Yes, we cried together as a family, but we also grew stronger, hugged, loved, laughed, and strengthened our bond.
2018 changed me and 2019 will as well. I don’t have the words yet for all that changed within me as the process is still unfolding. I am confident that 2019 will continue to reshape me.
I am reminded of the words to the Hymn we often sang in Church:
potter and clayHave Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
I am grateful for the presence of so many good people in my life, and I know 2018 was
possible and even enriched,  because of the love extended to my family and me.
May 2019 be a year where I generously give back to others the support so freely offered to me!
Happy New Year to each and every reader.