It’s been a weepy kind of day (which I guess is sort of appropriate considering the gray, drizzly weather we have been having). Last night I caught my son in the act of being particularly ugly to his sister during family prayers. I lost my temper, and then when it was all over, I lost my composure. Why do I have to do this alone?? It’s a stupid question without any answer, but when I’m feeling overwhelmed and unsure what to do, how I miss the one person that was as invested in this child raising gig as I am.
It brings up these feelings of being vulnerable too. It’s just me when there is an emergency or a difficulty in the family. I was sick the other night, and there was no one to bring me a bowl to throw up in or to commiserate with over my pain. It was just me, laying in bed and feeling particularly pathetic. I have always thought I was empathetic to the unique challenges of singles (especially single parents). Afterall, my mom spent a good portion of my growing up years as a part time single parent. But, like a lot of things, there’s nothing like going through it yourself to really get the full effect.
I know there are some (seemingly mythical) advantages to being on my own again. I can pursue different dreams and try new things. But somehow I haven’t been able to work up much enthusiasm for “new and different”. Honestly, my energy levels have been surprisingly low. Even the things I quite used to enjoy just don’t have the same appeal. Everything seems like a lot of work. My new motto has been, “remember, you are still grieving, even if it doesn’t feel like it some days… This is what it looks like for you right now, so give yourself a break”. Some days it works … and some days it just makes me depressed that I can’t seem to get anything done.
There are a lot of what I consider kind of trite sayings about the nature of grief – yet there are nuggets of truth in them, even if they don’t really capture the experience at all. One that I keep coming back to is the idea that grief comes in waves. I’ll have days where I feel good and hopeful and content. And then days like today hit and everything makes me cry and I’m reminded that happiness is still fragile around here. I might be moving forward, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not still missing my best friend.
*Brad Paisley, from his “Time Well Wasted” album