15 April 2007

Notes on My Grief

For right now, grief and eating seem to be synonyms. I am in serious comfort eating mode.

I am all too painfully aware that this time right now, while difficult and sad, is not the most difficult nor the most sad part. Thanks to my mom's presence, I'm holding myself together for now. Once she has to leave, I think I'm going to fall apart.

I talk to GH all the time, but it feels like a moot point. He always knew what I was thinking before; why wouldn't he know now? Still, I'm keeping up the chatter.

My in-laws have, surprisingly, not been too terribly annoying, and they didn't really push the issue of where to have GH cremated.

I'm clearly in "do" mode. I think that's OK for now. There's a lot of stuff to do, so why not do it right now before the emotional tsunami comes ashore?

All day, I wander around my house throwing away cancer-related stuff. As I move from room to room, if I see something that reminds me of cancer, into the trash it goes. I want GH's presence to remain in the house, but I don't want any reminder of cancer. Books, pills, teas, Ensure . . . away it goes. It can't be out of the house fast enough.

I'm surprised by how much I'm able to enjoy things: dinner with friends on Friday night, a trip to the north shore with my in-laws yesterday, a walk to the store with the twins.

Retail therapy continues. I bought four pair of pants and top at the mall on Friday, plus an outfit for Maddie for her first birthday party. Planning ahead. Couldn't find anything I liked for Riley.

I'm not surprised by how much I appreciate the outpouring of support from the Internets. Thank you.

I'm really, really, really tired. I'm sleeping OK, but I feel like lead all the time.

I miss GH. No surprise there.

33 comments:

Menita said...

Sounds like you're doing more than putting one foot in front of the other. I'm glad the in-laws weren't too annoying, glad your mother is there to help (when does she leave?).
The idea of throwing away cancer-related stuff while holding on to GH's things is brilliant. Wish I'd thought of that when my father died.
Retail therapy is good. And yes, someone needs to get more (or do I mean less?) of an imagination when designing clothes for baby boys.
Prattling on because I want to keep you company...
None of this really means anything, I'm just thinking of you and wishing things were different.

Anonymous said...

Prayers continue for all of you. While few of us have been through what you have experienced, you have legions of people who care deeply about you, Maddie, and Riley and are mourning with you.

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking of you so often. I - like so many others just wish there was somehting I could do to ease your pain. If it helps at all, I just want you to know that I do pray for you and your beautiful twins.

Maureen

OTRgirl said...

I hear you. Jrex went to a conference this weekend. I've been thinking so much about you and GH, that his absence leads to obvious 'what-if' scenarios. And, like you, it makes me want to eat. And shop. I've resisted the latter, but happily dived into a pint of green tea ice cream...

After Mom died, I was totally in 'do' mode. In fact, at her funeral, I enjoyed seeing so many of my childhood friends that I jumped into 'sparkly hostess' mode. I'd initiated this thing during the reception where people could get up and share memories of her. But the whole time I was in the corner laughing with two friends and getting glared at by the other grievers. Oops!

An 'emotional tsunami' is such a perfect description...

As always, I admire how clear-eyed you are in the midst of all this. I love that your Mom is with you and that the in-laws are being good.

Marie-Baguette said...

We are thinking of you. Glad to hear your mum is staying with you

Rev Dr Mom said...

I'm so glad you have friends and family and the babies with you as you grieve.

Know that you and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Take good care, my friend.

lala said...

just checking in...nothing much to say...just amazed at your ability to put one foot in front of the other.

Kathryn said...

You're doing fantastically. Still praying for all of you here, of course.
Talking to GH is just fine, you know...The love that you two have is altogether stronger than the separation that you are enduring, even though there will be times when that feels like a load of hooey.
Just go on doing whatever makes it possible to keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Getting out, seeing friends, eating, shopping--all good. Little boy clothes that make them look like mini professional athletes or Little Lord Fauntleroy--bad. Thinking of you.

soph's mum said...

my friend heather put a blog about you on her blog. my heart is with you right now, even though i do not know you. my prayers are with you and your kids and families. i'm a mother of 2 as well, can't imagine your pain at losing your dearest. it sounds like you both actively chose joy in your battle. may you find strength to do the same now.

love from joanna in vancouver

Suz said...

It sounds like you're holding up and I'm thinking of you. Retail therapy has always held tried and true for me, and only marginally more expensive than the real sort.

Melany aka Supermom said...

Do whatever you need to get through it as best as you can...nothing wrong with comfort eating and retail therapy. I'm glad you can lean so much on your mom

Leggy said...

Emotional tsunami is a fitting description of grief. I'm glad your mom is still there and that your inlaws are behaving. Not much else to say other than that I'm here and I'm reading.

Rachel said...

It's good that your mom is there, and you are staying busy. I was worried that you might have trouble with the inlaws about the cremation, so I'm glad to hear that hasn't happened. I hope you can find the support and comfort you need from the people around you. Hugs.

LCT said...

You're very strong, my friend. I'm looking forward to visiting you in the coming weeks.

The act of trowing away the cancer-related stuff is brilliant.

Kimberly said...

Baby steps.

You're still in my thoughts.

Janice said...

I remember after my father passed away from cancer at home 1-1/2 years ago, getting rid of all the sickness reminders (your details, like the Ensure, brought back vivid memories.)

One thing that I heard about my father's passing was that there is no normal to grief. Actually I found/find that it sneaks-up at the strangest times; almost always when I least expect it; and triggered by things that I wouldn't have thought as well.

Big hugs sent to you from Florida even though we have never met. My prayers continue to be with you.

Rachel said...

I'm thinking of you every day, and will for a long time to come.

Jason said...

May you never see another bottle of ensure for a long, long, long time.

Melissa in TN said...

First of all, Snick, I am so very sorry for your loss. I found your blog thru Tertia's website and am reading the archives. In my head, GH stands for "good husband" (well, it did until I found the reference to goose).

I am happy that you have your children. They let GH live on and I am sure they comfort you.

I completely relate to throwing things out. I have a two month old and the docs were afraid at birth that she might have some sort of genetic syndrome. We had a horrible day at the hospital before they finally ruled it out and discharged us. I threw away everything with the hospital's name on it because I didn't want to be reminded of that awful day.

Emotional tsunami is so right. When my Dad died I'd be ok for a while and then the grief would just wash over me in waves.

Sending healing thoughts to you and the babes.

Dorcasina said...

All those things sound intensely familiar to me. The "doing" kept me sane and busy in the immediate aftermath; as you are able, you will slow down and remember, and process.

I don't suppose I will ever stop talking to my husband, nor do I want to. Part of the joy of our marriage was that he completely "got" me; so many of the things I said were things he already knew about me.

I hope your mother can stay for an extended time. And I hope your family and friends will be sensitive to the fact that this numbness is necessary and inevitable and there is no telling at which moments it will wear off--or how long it will last.

I did a lot of grieving before my husband died--as I suspect you did. I guess I was foolishly surprised that having "pre-grieved" did not insulate me from the real thing; even grieving with him was good, compared to what came after.

I'm here...

winecat said...

So glad your inlaws are behaving I was really concerned about that. It's wonderful that you have your mom there to help you through these first difficult days and who can say no to retail therapy.

I join the rest of your internets in keeping you, Maddie and Riley in my prayers. Aren't the internets a wonderful family. We don't "know" each other but we do.

Wish there was something more to say to ease your pain. And as Menita said just rambling on to keep you company.

Lori said...

I'm still catching up on the whole blog, but you're all still very much in my thoughts.

Yankee T said...

I don't have much to add-everyone else is saying all the right things. Your description of the tsunami sounds exactly right. I have nothing to which I can relate your grief-my parents were old and sick,sick,sick...but I can tell you that my father has been dead for 12 years and I still cry sometimes, unexpectedly.
Sending you my love,
XOXOX
YT

Tuesday Girl said...

I think grief comes in waves, some good days some I can't get out of bed days.
Your children will help you live life again. It will be a different life. It will be a good one.

I am praying for you and your family.

Lisa said...

When my mom died of cancer, what was wierd is that I realized I had started the grieving process months before. So it was kind of spread out over time. When she actually died, it wasn't sharply traumatic in a collapsing on the floor way. And it wasn't a relief either. It just was like the second half of the pain that had already started. But I did feel like lead, and I did sort feel foggy for several weeks, but went on to do all my usual stuff. All situations are different and all people grieve differently. Shopping and eating sounds good to me. Hopefully some sleeping, too. Take care of yourself, and I'm glad that you found my post meaningful in some way. It was up for a little over an hour I think. So maybe you were supposed to read it? Thinking of you.

Caminante said...

I also think that the person who has died comes back and checks up on us to see how we're doing. That's when we have the sense of their presence, or seeing them in the street or hearing their voice. It may feel like a stab in the heart but it's just their hanging around to see that we're OK. That's one form of emotional tsunami.

Kim said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

serenity said...

I am thinking of you, hon.

xxx

Anonymous said...

Everthing has been said so eloquently by the other commenters, but I love Menita's idea of "keeping you company," so I'll add my own thoughts. I wonder if the busyness helps us put off dealing with grief until we aren't so raw. But it also wears you out. I hope you are able to rest when you need to, and accept help from those who offer. You're still in my prayers.
Jill

Angela said...

I hope you will keep on asking for help or accepting help, even if you don't really think you need it.I really hope you have all the support you need and want.

Tracey said...

Don't be afraid of that tsunami of grief, eventually you will wash back to shore but it will be a different shoreline than the one you left from.

I think that a pp mentioned that the grieving doesn't always start when death occurs, with terminal illness it can start long before that. Like you, I face losing DH very soon; and again like you, we have a small child. Even now I find myself grieving for the loss of us, the things we shared that have been stripped away by DH illness. Love well, grieve deep, remember always.

thordora said...

When my mother died of breast cancer when I was young, I remember many of the same things-throwing out the pills (oh the pills!) the ensure, the bandages, returning rooms to their previous states)

And I remember the eating.

Take advantage fo this respite to remind yourself that what you feel and do is normal. I remember feeling UNnormal when I wasn't a mess immediately after. It came later.

I am so very sorry for your loss.