The holidays are in the rear view mirror. So are the anniversary dates of my husband’s death, burial, and service. These days are intertwined and have a tight grip on the season. The season of good tidings of comfort and joy….
In an earlier post I said I would be out of here for Christmas, but a family vote determined that we would stay home. So, we mixed it up a bit. I made a tree out of wood. I hung pillow cases instead of stockings. We had family and friends over on Christmas day instead of Christmas Eve. We gave, we received, we laughed, we were OK. There was joy.
But comfort has been scarce for me lately. I guess I have been searching for it for over two years now. It’s like a sock slipping down in my shoe. I can pull it up and readjust, but then it slips down again and creates the rub. I hobble.
A deep sense of comfort is missing. And the hand of grief pushing me down right now is strong. It hurts. As I roll into the start of year three (and how can that even be?) I see others as wanting me to say it is easier and that there is a softening to the grief. How was your Christmas? Happy New Year!
As I write, I am wondering if I am making you, the reader, uncomfortable with my discomfort. I wonder – do you really want to know? Isn’t easier if I am merry and bright?
This summer a friend encouraged me to travel and get out of my “comfort zone.” Hell, I have been trying to get back in that zone since we heard cancer. Grief is this huge exercise in patience because what I want, what would help the most, is impossible. What (read: who) would comfort me most – I can’t have.
I have wondered out loud more than once – is it the initial loss or is it the relentless tap tap of the grief that can break you?
Tonight on the phone one of my sisters asked what I can do for myself right now that offers some comfort. I wonder too. I know I have much to be grateful for in my comfortable life. I am warm, fed, and safe in a world where many have none of these blessings.
The actor Liam Neeson, who lost his wife in a skiing accident, describes his experience of grief as “you feel like a three legged table. The earth isn’t stable any more.” Last year I wrote this line in a poem: I am the comfort and the sorrow. The sadness and the potential for peace exist in me. And so it continues. I will keep adjusting that ill fitting sock. I will try to straighten the table. You might not even notice.
I wonder what brings you comfort?
Wishing comfort and joy for all.