A Self-Centered Approach to Life, Love, and Spirituality…starting with Steph

Archive for the tag “Grief”

Birthdays, Visitation, and Laundry

Last week was my aunt’s birthday. It is the first holiday (yes I said holiday—birthdays are a big deal) that I didn’t buy a card from my grandma for one of her children. It was surreal. When absence takes a seat in your heart, its weight is heavily felt. I almost bought a card for her anyway…and for a minute I could smile and pretend like she was still there. As days go by, grieving people tend to mark time. We count how many birthdays and thanksgivings there have been since our loved ones have passed. We tally the moments we could have had, noting the good tasks we completed instead of the great things that might have mattered more. We learn to adjust to the loss of opportunity—to a life that is different: One in which we mourn the mundane moments, those simple ones we would give anything to have back, and forge a new normal for ourselves.

That same week, I had 3 baskets of clean clothes that I sifted through every day when deciding what to wear. Laundry among other things was sitting, waiting to be dealt with. I dreamt of my grandma one of those mornings. She came to my bedroom, hugged me tightly, gave me a load of her laundry, and said “I haven’t seen you in a few days.” I moved the baskets out of the way for her to walk in. She laid on my bed and I thought I should just lay next to her as I sorted through her clothes. I woke up before having done so… But for a few sweet moments, I felt her here with me.

I went to visit my Grams’ grave yesterday. In the dream, she said she hadn’t seen me in a few days. Truth be told, I hadn’t seen myself in awhile. Grams was gone, but my laundry was still there.

My Invitation:

What overwhelms us may take different forms: Maybe stress, loneliness, grief… For me, it is time to address my grandmother’s passing and face everything I put aside while caring for her: my calling, my relationships, namely myself. You know your desires and needs better than anyone else does. Honor them. If you like you can join me. I’ll start with the laundry.



Between Fear and Grief

I don’t like surprises. I have worried about my grandmother’s legs being cut off for years. Recently her legs have gotten darker and the blisters on her swollen calves have popped leaving wounds that heal slower than they were designed to….Now I have cause to be concerned but for completely different reasons. The interesting thing about anxiety is that often no one cares about what you’re worried about. Sometimes the real problem is so much bigger than you could have anticipated. These are the times when you don’t want to be right.

Grams’ doctor had a few tests he wanted to have run in-house, but I did not want to take her to the hospital. Usually I’m all over that, I am a hospital pro. Strangely enough, I feel very at home there and Grams typically returns feeling better after being treated. But I was afraid that if she went in this time she may not come out. The hospital is where my Grams feels most comfortable, she knows nurses are monitoring her health day and night, people tend to her, and she doesn’t have to sleep alone. It’s ironic, I’m not sure if she’ll make it out of the safest place she knows.

We did take her to the emergency room and my fears were eclipsed by scarier ones. I guess swollen legs are no match for talks of heart-failure and hospice. I tend to get calmer when facing major issues and increasingly anxious over minor ones. When I walked into her room after hours in the ER, the reassuring thought came over me as I recognized my surroundings: “this I know.” Sometimes we get so used to a scary place, we look forward to the familiarity. In the uncertainty, in the awful, Maybe this was God anesthetizing the element of surprise. I don’t know. These days I don’t know much of anything. So what do we do with this? We talk.
It sucks. I am grateful for the fear of loss of love, the acceptance of its occurrence, and the experience of it having existed at all.

My Invitation:
Grief is an inexplicably hard channel to swim through. The fear before the grief can be insufferable… No part of that is ok until it is… Let it be whatever it is until it becomes something different.
~Steph (working on being) centered

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