A day like today – on a journey through grief

Since Mom and Dad died I sometimes, more than I’d like, wrestle with the question about my daily activities, “What’s the point?” Sometimes many things I used to be compelled to do, motivated to action by, and completely occupied with seem rather purposeless.

Do I really need to scan and redo our family’s photo albums? I’m more than two-thirds done with this project I started literally a decade or more ago, and now I wonder why bother?

Do I really need to put up a blog post? On days like today that seems like one of the more pointless activities I engage in. On days like today blogging seems like a hungry monster that gobbles up my time yet produces nothing.

Everything seems so temporary on days like today. And relatively pointless.

When Mom and Dad were still alive I was driven by a pressing need to try and make their lives a little better. Maybe I could find recipes that Dad could still eat, or a device to grind his food. Maybe I could brighten Mom’s day an tiny little bit with scented foaming hand soap. Maybe I could find some kind of harness to help Dad sit up in his wheelchair. I’d regularly circle through the medical supply store just to see if there might be something there to ease someone’s pain or workload.

Sometimes now I think the most productive use of my time is to start undoing the things that I’ve done. To start getting rid of the things I’ve bought, used, and now store in case someone needs them or simply for memory’s sake. To start erasing my life one shelf of books, one set of canisters, or stack of baskets at a time.

One part of my mind, that piece that stays logical in the midst of chaos, that can leave my body and look down at me watching my every movement, reminds me that this disinterest, dissociation, loss of desire is most assuredly just another obstacle I need to navigate around or through on my grief journey.

That logical part of my mind helps me to not worry about it. So I don’t. I just move through these hours, this day, and hope tomorrow isn’t a day like today.

~~~~~

More posts about my journey through grief.

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Author: CMSmith

I enjoy reading, writing, gardening, photography, genealogy and travel. I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

22 thoughts on “A day like today – on a journey through grief”

  1. Thank you for being so beautifully and brutally honest here. I feel your hurt. Grief is one of the most painful things we humans must endure. I JUST read a quote this morning that I’m going to share with you: “The epitaph I would choose is ‘He died while he was still alive.’ That might sound like a contradiction in terms, but I knew many people who had ceased to live, even though they continued to work and eat and engage in their usual social activities. They were…oblivious to the magic moment that each day brings with it, never stopping to think of the miracle of life…” (from The Zahir by Paulo Coelho). I hope we all can just stop and look at the miracle of living, of being, and that can help us move on through the grief time, and see a new light of day.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to post such a thoughtful comment, quote included. Most days I do see the miracle of being. That is one of the positive repercussions of this whole journey.

  2. I wrote you earlier after reading your sister’s (well actually your family’s story) and asked if I could share my story with you. You kindly accepted and I began compiling it. Sorry it’s taking me awhile….My interesting life has yet took another turn, but that just adds to the story. I’m sifting through old photos and will attach some when I send you my compilation. I read your blog this morning and related very much to your feelings. I had the same feelings, just a different time (when I was 28). I can promise you that the pain lessens and things will seem “almost” ok again. Living is the least we can do for our creator, God. He will sustain us and give us strength and joy along the way. Please keep blogging. Your blog today has motivated me to get back to telling my story…which in turn is wonderful therapy….I am always looking for answers and peace. Seems I have tried so many things to accomplish this…but I never seem to master it. 30 years of searching. I’m 58 now and long for the day I can finally make sense of it all. I was so sad and disappointed when I found your blog only to read that your Mother and Father had passed away. I was hoping to tell your Mother how wonderful she was. I learned that from your book “Dancing in Heaven.” I knew that your Father was ill and probably wouldn’t understand if I had the chance to tell him, but your Mother would. Once again, I was too late. My grandparents died when my grandpa was 95 and my grandma 85…6 months apart. They were married almost 70 years and died 6 months apart (yet they were 10 years apart in age) Guess I better run and get back to my story. 🙂 This was just suppose to be a simple post. Look for my email. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Cindy. I’m glad you reminded me about your story. My memory isn’t what it used to be. I hope some of it returns eventually. I’m glad you can relate to this blog, that was my main motivation in posting it. I hoped maybe it would connect with someone. And thanks for the encouragement. The fact that I’ve already put so much time and effort into this blog makes it difficult to quit. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, although I have gone through a relatively long period of sluggishness in my blogging activity.

      My mom heard a lot of people telling her how wonder she was throughout her life, although I don’t believe she ever saw herself in that light. So no worries there.

      Yes. Get writing.

  3. Thank you for posting that.

    I’ve been having my share of “what’s the point” moments myself. And other moments where what I’ve felt is more a sense of anger about the loss.

    One day at a time. I keep telling myself that.

    1. You’re welcome. I hesitated to post it because I fear people get tired of hearing about it, but I also want to record what I’m going through.

      Yes. One day at a time. I hope you are having more good days than bad.

  4. Oh, Christine, I’m so sorry for your pain. I can assure you it’s not all pointless, but I know my assurance doesn’t amount to much in the end, if you don’t feel it. My heart and prayers are with you, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  5. Nature abhors a vacuum … and an empty bookcase or closet. We keep getting rid of things, but it seems like there is never any more space that before. Everything just expands to fit all available space.

  6. I sense you pain for your loss. Grieving isn’t easy, yet it’s natural. Good news is that time heals the pain … but don’t challenge time because it will whip you … nonetheless, one also has to let it do its magic.

  7. Thank you for sharing this with us Christine. The grief really does express itself in so many ways. You seem to recognize the vacuum that is there now that there your parents are not there. And maybe even in some way thinking of your own death. These existential crises are awful when they happen but thank heavens they do – and especially that we don’t turn away from it.

    1. Thank you for reading it. I decided from the beginning of this that I was going to face whatever pain I had to face. I don’t want this to be a festering sore for the rest of my life. I think I am doing pretty well. Most days I’m fine. Even happy.

  8. Hi Christine .. my thoughts for you – I’m sure your son and his new wife .. would love to have you complete your photo project – sadly it’s the way the world works … we are here for however much time we are given … and I feel everyone, those here, those gone, even early ancestors, would be so pleased to know you remember your roots … Hilary

  9. “Things” don’t hold the same value they once did. It is wise to not make decisions about those articles and activities on the days you described in this post. Days like that become fewer and farther between, thankfully. I finally started working on an 8×8 scrapbook of the backyard/flowers/wildlife–something I purchased quite some time ago. Last week I ordered the rest of the pages for the format I’m using, and started printing photos. I might share some pages on the blog.

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