Thursday, 1 November 2012
A Brief Grief Journal
October has been such an exquisitely difficult month. I have felt the pain of loss keenly, reaching me from many different areas of my life. It has taken great effort to put energy into anything other than simply sitting and allowing myself to feel my way through sadness and pain to the other side of grief. Certainly I am not there yet, but I know I'm closer and that is good enough for now.
In the midst of hurt, though, I find myself thinking how fortunate I am to have things in my life that can hurt me. To have people you love so much that the loss of them is unspeakable agony--the kind that cramps your whole body up, the kind that makes you bend down over and curl up fetally, the kind that just turns you into a leaky sieve so that you start crying even in a happy moment. Funny how closely tied pain and hurt are to happiness and joy.
I think that while allowing oneself to experience grief is both good and necessary, giving yourself up to drown in it is not good. Wallowing is easy. Stasis is easy. After all, as I mentioned earlier, so much energy is spent just experiencing so much feeling at all, how do you have energy to do anything else? To move forward? And if there is one thing that I would look back at my life and say, it is that you cannot expect anyone else to pick you up when you are down. You have to choose to get up. For me, that means doing things even when I don't feel like doing them--especially things that give energy.
I derive energy from creativity, so I have taken on the project (BIG project) of painting one of the rooms in my house. Colours, primer, moving pianos and stacks of books and clothes and pictures and stuff stuff stuff. Painting. Creating. Repetitive motion.
I do derive energy from people. So don't cancel your parties, don't isolate yourself from others even when you don't feel like seeing anyone. Keep living and being and watching those around you live and be and remember how beautiful it is to love people, to love at all. If you are lonely, invite someone else who is alone. If you are hungry, make something and share it with someone, even if you don't see them, even if you are simply sending it to them.
Take conscious note of all the things you find beautiful. I was in Buffalo visiting one of my dear friends. I didn't feel social--I just felt sad. But I let myself let go and move outside of the sadness and enjoy something happy (and tasty!! mmm, Thai food.) And then, I went with her to visit an Nepali family she has gotten to know. It was so incredibly perfect, sitting on a couch somewhere in Buffalo talking about loss and exile and experiencing someone else's pain that you understand and drinking chai and knowing that life is beautiful anyway.
I've eaten sushi, picked pumpkins, receivedhugs, scheduled out things to keep doing til i'm finally starting to think a bit more spontaneously again.
Nearly a week ago now, I went to a fundraiser up there. What fun! Going on stage at Shea's--one of the biggest stages in the whole of the States! And going backstage and in the stars' dressing rooms, and underneath the stage where the trap doors are. I still have yet to shake my desire to go straight back into serious theatre. It's come in handy, though, with lots of costume parties the rest of this week. Snow White and Marilyn Monroe!
During the big "Frankenstorm" that just came around, I had a sleepover and pumpkin-carving and movie-night with another friend. Storms are one experience I hate to have alone, and it was so much fun to have a sleepover in response to my facebook post "now accepting applications for storm-sleepover-buddies" (or something like that) and to revel in good company.
What I know is that I hope November is a better month. No new losses to stagger under. No horrid storms, no deaths nor dying. To come out of this sleepwalking and back into smiles and quick laughter that just bubbles out again. To not have to work so hard at living and remembering the beautiful. Please, November--be restorative.