I don’t know what the psychologists would say but I certainly know what my heart and mind are saying and I am listening. Here is what has been going on with me. Each of these moves are or has been intentional to help cope with the great losses I have experienced this horrific year. Do not read into the order as truly many if not most of these things are happening simultaneously.
- Adopted Lady. By adopted, I really mean accepted her as my own. I continue to grieve and have a good dose of guilt about Lizzie (please do not try to tell me otherwise) and continue to pray her new family loves her the way I did. Articles on Health and Wellness always include how owning a pet aids to a person’s overall sense of well being.
- Going out on a Monday night. Now twice. Much fun. Enough said.
- Furniture give-away, furniture purchase. Pieces I associated with bad memories have been thoughtfully given away which then changes their memory to the positive and those pieces have been replaced with new purchases. Or, adding to existing collection(s).
- Removed doors, three of them last week in an effort to gain light and space within my living space. Light and space gives me a sense of freedom and tranquility.
- Repaired old favorite keepsakes. Over time, things would need repair and get forgotten, at least in our household. Ex. When cleaning out the basement, I have found two such lamps and now, after repair, are fabulous keepsakes and reminders of our 35 years together and how/why/when these particular items came to us.
- Out of a massive collection of photos we have (we all have), I have framed and put out only a few around the house, but in prominent places. It really becomes the location of the photo, rather than the quantity (which I think can be annoying) that makes the statement.
- Finding NEW activities with no associations to the past and for the purpose of meeting people. Ex. agility training with Lady (now into the 5th class) and joining a team constructing a new build for Habitat for Humanity (I am now the proud owner of steel-toe boots).
- Asking for and accepting help from neighbors. Ex. How to add water to the boiler, fire alarm issue, rules for garbage vs. trash in our Village
- Out of my control but very noticeable and appreciated is the continual support of family. Ex. daughter making short jaunts back home, step-son sending texts, sisters-in-law emails, flowers being sent from dear hubby’s family members (just received yesterday). This continuation of including me into the family fold is imperative and what I am most Thankful for this season.
- Grief counseling/groups of all kinds. Hospice follows up with the family 13 months after the death of the loved one. I am taking advantage of this opportunity. There are groups for specific loss as well as generic loss/relation.
- Finding that sense of humor, again.
- Doctor’s appointments for wellness checks, prevention down the road. They’re all lined up.
- Visiting loved one(s). Well, I visit my sister and Lizzie via photographs and I visit my dear hubby. It is currently helpful to face my reality and hoping in time will be a source of solace, maybe even contentment of sorts. Once a best friend, always a best friend, perhaps?
And, writing! Writing this list and thinking about my intentional moves these days is reflective in nature and is allowing me to ask myself, “Is what I am doing helpful to my overall happiness?” And, I answer, what I am doing is, at least in the ball park of coping and healing and allowing me to find my way to a new normal and all that life, in the future, has to offer.