Monday, February 22, 2010

Small Things

The days blur one into another and I'm not sure of today's date. I find myself doing the oddest things with no real plan or purpose. I suppose it's good because small tasks that have been put off are now getting done. I keep trying to focus on my taxes because I know they need to be finished soon, but my mind cannot wrap around the numbers and rules. So I do a little piece each day and hope in the end they make sense.

Perhaps this focus on the mundane is good. It's restful for my mind and keeps my hands busy. What are the little things I've been doing?

-cleaning out the junk drawer (shock and awe result--what we do accumulate in there!)

-sorting through winter clothes and packing ones I don't wear for Goodwill

-ordering garden seeds for the coming year (guaranteed smile producer)

-filing papers and paying bills, sending cards and generally catching up on mail

-sending thank-you notes (guaranteed tears producer)

-hanging laundry outside whenever the weather allows, and inside on the drying rack when it doesn't (smiles and good, deep breaths)

-sorting out the linen closet, resulting in another bag or two for Goodwill

-dusting and cleaning odd corners that often get missed

-making a folder of all the digital pictures I have of Jon (tears again)

-talking on the phone with friends and family (smiles and sometimes tears, depending)

It's a weird list, isn't it? Not things I would have thought someone would do when grieving, but there it is. Then again, I have no idea of what people are supposed to do during grief.

I have not yet gone anywhere, preferring to stay home and not have to meet people who want to tell me how sorry they are. It is a threshold I have to cross yet I know at some point it has to be done. What I don't know is how to do it without either tears or anger. I need thicker armor before facing that challenge.


Twisted Fencepost said...

What to do while grieving?
Anything that takes your mind off your grief for a few fleeting moments.
And anything that brings about sorrowful but good memory tears.
Wish I were there to give you someone to talk to, if you need to. Or cry on my shoulder if you need to. Or just give a big hug to, when you DO need that.
I'm sending up prayers for comfort and peace for you AND your family.
Take care of yourself Susanna!

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, TF. I think that is what I'm doing without realizing it. I've learned that grief comes in waves with unexpected periods of serenity. I suppose because we need to rest in order to ride the next wave?

Country Whispers said...

Those tears believe it or not are good for you. It's the only way to start healing. Take your time and you will eventually be able to face the world again with a smile.
☺ ☺ ☺ ☺
If you get your house all cleaned and need another just hollar. Mine needs a good spring cleaning. You can come on up and we can chat, cry and clean till you little hearts content.
Wishing you peace within yourself as well as comfort and the ability to accept what has been dealt to you and the rest of the family.

Nance said...

Your hands, Sue, I think, are trying to bring order to an unordered world. Your hands and mind sort and organize, seeking to bring some control back into your life (cleaning out the "junk" drawer -- how meaningful is that!) The “rote” and routine is what gets us through the first days of our grief and buys us time to find our balance and strength and faith again. And you will! I know your mettle; I recognize your strength . . . but it takes time.

Deborah Wilson said...

Keep busy, Sue, keep busy. I think the small jobs (and other things) that we do while we are grieving is what we need to do psychologically - this is what helps us to *process* what has happened - and long-term it helps us to *accept*. Basically, we have to come to terms with our grief in our own way - and in our own time - this is what eventually will 'thicken your armor'. And you don't have to say goodbye, Sue. Don't.

Robbyn said...

It's a great list. There's a comfort to being home where there is always a To Do list. I really appreciated your post about what you'd do differently, things you see differently now. It's giving me pause to consider some of those things myself...thank you :)

Granny Sue said...

Nance, I think you're exactly right--that is what I'm doing. I did not see it myself. Maybe that why taxes are so hard to face--there's no order or control there!

Robbyn, thank you for your caring card and note. I appreciated it. At home, yes, the to-do list is a pleasure. At work, it's, well, work.

Jason Burns said...

Hi GSue! There isn't a day goes by without me thinking of you or someone here asking me how you're doing. I'm not sure if you realize how much you've touched our lives - even those that only met you once.

I can guarantee there are those of us who keep you in our thoughts every day, and will be there to talk (or not) whenever you are able.

Love you and sending some good thoughts your way! :)

Jason Burns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Granny Sue said...

Jason, I am amazed, to tell the truth, at how many people have contacted me to say they care. There are so many good people in this world. I did not mean to sound like I didn't want people to say anything to me--that reaching out is what helps so much during hard times. What I can't trust is my reaction. Each time I have to face someone or repeat what happened, I'm in tears. The anger part kicks in when I think of the inexplicability of what happened. Why is a constant question that will be forever unanswered. The only answer is simply, it is. And that is still unacceptable to me, even though in time I may be able to understand it better.

I am touched each day by the loving thoughts and prayers of so many. I should feel uplifted, and often I do. But just as often I feel bereft and so, so sad.

hart said...

It seems to me ordering the seeds is an especailly good thing to do. I am so glad you are not rushing yourself, or letting anyone else rush you, back into things.--Jane

Kate Dudding said...

Dear Granny Sue,

When you wrote about "a threshold I have to cross yet," I thought of the Compassionate Friends again, an organization for parents who have lost children:

Below is the info on the 3 chapters in WV.

I think you'll find people there who know about that threshold. I know that my friend's mom felt best after her daughter's death when at CF.


Chapter Name: Charleston Chapter
Chapter Number: 1684
(304) 388-2545
CAMC/ Ask for TCF Contact
Meeting Info: 4th Monday of each month 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Meeting Address: Women & Children's Hospital Resource Center, 800 Pennsylvania Ave, Charleston, WV 25302

Chapter Name: TCF of the Tri-State
Chapter Number: 2309
(304) 523-5935
Kathy (h) or (604) 710-9570 Kathy (c) or (304) 523-6181 TCF Line
Meeting Info: Every Thursday at 6:30 pm
Meeting Address: 6th Avenue Church of Christ, 530 20th St, Huntington, WV 25703

Chapter Name: TCF of Braxton County
Chapter Number: 2179
(304) 765-2865
Meeting Info: 1st Tuesday of each month 6:00 pm
Meeting Address: First Southern Baptist Church, 285 Herold Rd, Newville, WV 26601

Susan at Stony River said...

Have you ever read 'A Grief Observed' by CS Lewis? It's a tiny book but a wise one, written as he worked through his grief over Joy's death. Maybe now's a right time to read it, or much later instead, but ...

Spring seeds sound like a wonderful project, a perfect life-affirmer. I need to get some planting done, now that March is nearly here.

bayouwoman said...

All in due time, my friend, all in due time.

Anonymous said...

Sue, you have some very wise and caring friends on here. The adviceand wisdom is on target and true. Love you tm

Mary said...

Love you, sweetie . . . and if it's too hard to focus on taxes, I think you can apply for an extension.

Tipper said...

What you're doing makes perfect sense to me-Nance is right you're in control of the little things around your house-and I ditto what Jason said.

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Tipper. One day at a time is still my mantra.

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