Sunday, August 8, 2010

Grief-in-Action

video

I'm here at Camp Widow in San Diego.
I videotaped the room full of us widows clapping.
And now that I am trying to post it, I'm not sure it's working.
Frustration is on my shoulders, my wrinkled brow and scrunched up eyes.
After an hour of searching and trying solutions, I don't know if any of them will work and I feel
defeated and completely

unable to cope.

Unable to cope. Words that came out of my mouth daily in the beginning. I couldn't cope with getting dressed or making a decision, like what time should Lori come get Ezra? Deciding what time I needed to start dinner to have it on the table by 6:30 not only alluded me, but I didn't even understand how other people went about making such decisions so quickly and easily. I felt crazy. I was crazy. Crazy with grief.

Then as the hysteria lowers (like month 9 or 10 after his death) and as a new normal creeps in (1 year and 1 month) I feel like coping is in the bag, checked off the list, mastered!

Normal feels normal.

And Oh MY! What was that? I feel like the new Kim has not only risen but has no intention to burst into flames again any time soon

until

things outside of the new normal happen. New things like posting a video to a blog.

As I search for solutions to the video issue, I can't sort out what the websites are telling me.
I reread the same sentences over and over and over again thinking that on the next read, I will get it, knowing that I should be able to understand it.

Confusion rises. (What are they telling me to do) then frustration (Why aren't these directions clearer?) then anger, first at the directions but really now it's at myself. My unable to think is grief-in-action.

Six months after Art died, I decided to bake a cake. I read the directions, line by line, gathering the ingredients on the counter. I would read "2 eggs," get to refrigerator, open it and then forgot what I was supposed to be getting. So I would go back to the recipe, read "2 eggs," reach for the refrigerator and forget again. My brow furrowed, my lips scrunched up and my shoulders tightened, I had to admit this was grief at it's worse. This was the grief that no one sees. This was grief-in-action!

And it is in that memory, right now, that has my confounded and a bit put off. Grief? It's been a year and 3 months, for goodness sake and

now I am laughing!

1 year is nothing in the grief land. One year is enough time to come down from the hysteria, maybe establish some kind of normal. It's NOT enough time to establish a new coping ability to handle the rest of the stuff like missed flights and uploading videos to a blog.

And I'm here, 21 floors above 150+ widows who totally 100% get that. So I'm leaving the video. I hope it works. If not, I'll work on it:

when I'm not under a time pressure,
when I have the space to think
when I have soaked up all
the goodness
and okayness
and support
and REAL widow normalcy
that comes from hanging out with a bunch of people who
unequivocal
get this mess
called
grief.

That is when I will figure the darn video out (if I need to!)

I am grateful I have them!

4 comments:

  1. Kim,your blog comes to me at a time that I completely get it, even though I can not be with all of you widows. I still often feel foggy in my thinking. Feeling down after 11 months and often it does not clear until I cry over my lost life, even though I am also begining to like the one I now have. I email my widows bond friends and they understand and get it! So I know what you mean. By the way the video actually works! I love it. It is good to see all those different faces in the widows crowd. I really am not alone at all!

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  2. The video works great. Thanks for sharing with the world that Camp Widow was an empowering experience for so many of us.

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  3. Kim - The video worked just fine! I so understand the foggy thinking - thanks for explaining it so clearly. So glad you are enjoying Camp Widow...I'm thinking I should be considering attending next year!

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  4. Kim , it worked! I just got to show my 7 year old daughter Julia where I was this weekend.
    "Look there's mommy in the red dress with all of those awesome, hopeful, beautiful people!"
    BTW, I am still pissed at my husband because I now have to step up and figure out all of the tech stuff in our house like posting a video, un-screwing up my computer, connecting the wii,dealing with i tunes, etc. And each time I master something (or find the right person to handle it for me :-)) I grow my resourcefulness muscle which helps me climb that rock wall one more inch.
    And if it makes you feel any better, I am a professional cook and food stylist.The first 2 years + after Bill's death,I still couldn't read a recipe all the way through without getting lost and having to start over several times. Everything took 2-3 times as long to make. Happily, children still manage to grow even when subjected to Annie's mac'n cheese with frozen peas 5 night's per week.

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