Grief Day

Yesterday was a grief day. I only had work appointments scheduled for the afternoon, so it should have been an easy day. I had little that HAD to get done, but I had a long list of SHOULDs. I think that may have been the issue.

I should be working on my webinars. I should be clearing yet more gear out of the basement and sorting it for sale or donation. I should be writing thank you notes to all the folks that were so gracious to host us over Spring Break. I should call hospice yet one more time to remind them to please, please, please come and pick up the sharps container on my porch as I cannot dispose of it in the garbage. I should make my son a perfectly balanced dinner so that he has optimal energy for his track meet tomorrow. The sun is finally out and I should be cleaning up debris and dog poop. I should get to bed at a reasonable hour so I have lots of sleep prior to a full work day on Thursday. I should be over this sadness already, and moving on with my life. I couldn’t do any of it. I went back through old pictures, emails, even googled Jim to see stuff like old flyers for workshops he had done. I almost called and cancelled my afternoon appointments.

I was in a funk. When Jasper was about 4, all of his grandparents died within an 18 month period. We talked about it, and I thought he had processed what death was. Then, about 6 months later he came up with, “So let me get this right. You get borned, you live, you try to have a little fun, and then you die. What’s the point?” Yesterday was a lot like that. I did not have an adequate answer for Jasper when he was 4, and I don’t have one now for me.

The only “should” I listened to yesterday was the one that my massage therapist always says. “You should be gentle with yourself. You should hold yourself in the softest arms.” I cried a lot. The only phone call I made was to a friend who came over and rubbed my shoulders. It clouded over so I did not feel so bad about the yard work. I did do my work appointments, because when I meet with families we always swap stories…and these are full of joy. I fed Jasper leftover pasta, and asked him to do the dishes. I let a friend talk me into going to sauna, and I stayed out way too late, and had wine. I did not have to hold myself, there were others that were willing to. Perhaps that is the point.

I know the funk, and the fog, will lift. Today is a better day already. But golly grief, I get so tired of you sometimes.

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3 Responses to Grief Day

  1. Joan Jones says:

    I’d say, Grief is dumb…but it’s not; it’s necessary. It *is* exhausting, though, and I feel that for you, Kathie. It’s like a hangover that simply won’t let up, no matter how many aspirins and naps you take, and at some point you feel that it’s probably in excess of what you deserve. That’s how it is for me, anyway, and that might be one point of healing: when I can logically recognize I have other things I’d rather be doing than grieving…doesn’t mean I can *make* that happen, but I do appreciate knowing it is a possibility.

    And you know–you KNOW–that you need never be alone, that you need never suck it up, bury it, stifle it, deal with it. You know that, and you are quite able to say, I need some help. And that’s necessary, too, incorporating your friends into your new paradigm. We will do whatever you need, so long as you let us know you need.

  2. Gerri Sayler says:

    I like your massage therapist — wise woman. Many years ago, a women’s spirituality group I belonged to often song this chant together: “I will be gentle with myself, I will love myself, I am a child of the universe, being born each moment.” I will sing you the tune sometime if you like. It functions handily as a mantra and comes in handy for moments/days of despair. After you sing it several times over, peace percolates up through you from wherever peace dwells. Peace, dear one.

  3. Deb Hieronymus says:


    Grief sucks. And I am someone who tends to pretend everything’s okay when it’s really not, when something underneath my skin is trying to get out and shout or cry or stomp “its” feet. But your massage therapist has it right. Be gentle with yourself. And let others be gentle to/for/with you.

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