Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Next Year and a Goal~

Today I watched the flashmob video from Camp Widow.  I was inspired to watch it after seeing the tutorial video on the Soaring Spirits Loss face book page.

The tutorial.  I barely got through it and only got through it with tears coming from my eyes and my chest feeling tight and sorrow filling every part of my body.  And the whys of that were immediately evident to me.

Since Chuck died one year, one month and 18 days ago, I've lost all sense of my body and I marveled at the dancers on the video because of this loss.  As I travel now, I realize that I am so completely in survival mode that I feel like an animal.  Which is so weird to say, I guess but, well, there you have it.

Chuck and I exercise walked regularly and while I am no athlete, I could manage an 8 mile hike with little problem.

The other day my daughter and I climbed maybe 15 shallow steps and I was winded.

I've gotten through some yoga classes but cried my way through them and was astonished how much it took out of me.

I used to hoop-dance.  Not well, but joyfully, moving and bending.  I've attempted it since Chuck's death but almost become physically ill.

In this past year and these months, I've struggled to keep my heart open, no matter the degree of grief and pain and it takes everything I have in me to keep that going.

I'm learning new things constantly in this full-time life on the road, meeting new people daily.  Lots of energy being used.

My lungs aren't winded so much from being out of shape, (though that does add to it) but because I'm holding so much grief and pain in them and breathing effectively is a conscious decision and that takes effort.  My chest area is heavy and I feel every pound of it.  A sharp edge is continually lodged there, as if a sword has pierced it.  Each heart beat is painful.

My body is an unknown territory to me.  The life I lived with Chuck was a sensuous life, filled with touch.  I took time to be attractive to him and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Now my hair is going gray, my skin has lost its' glow and I'm carrying extra weight.  All of these are but externals, of course, and reflect my own sense of lost-ness.

I am so very aware of being in survival mode.  Right now it's a struggle to just remember to drink a glass of water.  My diet?  Hah!  I have no idea what's good for me or not.  At the end of most days I have no idea of what I've done other than drive another mile on this Odyssey and absorbed the love from those I meet.

At some point, I'm hoping this will change for me.  I'm pushing where I can, letting myself be right where I am when that is necessary.

Next year?  Next year it is my goal to attend Camp Widow and if there is a flash mob, to join in with the other dancers.  I want to move again, I want to feel Chuck's love for me move through my heart and soul instead of having grief from his death choking me and I want to dance my love for him and I want to feel love for life again.  I don't want to just survive.  If I have to live (and apparently I'm not going to die of a broken heart), then I want to live loudly and exuberantly.  I want to open my arms and shriek my defiance of death to the skies.

Camp Widow is my goal.


  1. Survivor mode is just as you described it.. During the first few years I allowed myself to feel it completely until one day I could see I was making progress on the other side of grief and was able to take somewhat control again. And even today, over 4 years later, when a trigger happens I allow myself to just feel it, knowing I'll be okay because I am a survivor and stronger than I ever set out to be.

    1. Becky,
      Whether it's courage or strength or determination or desperation...somehow we make it through and for me, it's knowing that there are others just like me out there in the world. And if they can make it, under worse circumstances than mine, than I can damn well do it too. Survivor, and then Thriver-more power to all of us~

  2. The body and grief are an amazing example of the emotional affecting the physical, which then gives feedback to the emotional. I feel SO much better after vacation! And this bothers me. I do not know exactly which physical-emotional (ie: public humiliation and an excruciating stomach virus, or a physical assault with terror) event knocked me on my ass for about a year. So I don't understand how 4 good conversations and some yoga can be a cure-all. But when I went on vacation my roommate had to help me carry my stuff and I was in a mental fog. This week I've been on a gardening, fitness and housecleaning kick. I'm still an airhead, but I'm not foggy (a necessary distinction) I can see ME somewhere in the wreck I have made of my body. I hope you have this "shift" or "click" one day, Alison.

    1. You give me hope because you're where you are.

      Thank you~

  3. I so want to move/dance again too, My daughter's getting married in a week, and I'm dreading the reception music, all the slow songs triggering what used to be. Gonna be a long day, happy for her, but missing my person beside me. Yep, survival mode. Sometimes you just do what you gotta do, and keep going.

    1. One breath, one step, one heart beat.

      It's a dance almost by itself~

  4. You should definitely go next year. I wasn't sure about going either. But I went. And I'm really glad I did. Moving on the dance floor felt great. Go.