Saturday, July 6, 2013

From Week 8 to 14: What Has Shifted, What is the Same?

I re-read my journal from the first 2 months. A lot of the regret, rage, guilt and tortured speculation sounds familiar and is still cycling through my mind. I can also see how much has shifted, from complete devastation to the beginnings of integrating this grief with the rest of my life.

Some things I could not do in those first several weeks that I can do more easily now (usually):
-          Set aside nightmare images and sounds from the scene of death
-          Wake up without always thinking of N
-          Take long walks, do some vigorous exercise
-          Listen to music, read novels (if not depressing or disturbing)
-          Drive freeways
-          See young people enjoying themselves
-          Spend time alone without being overly anxious
-          Visit with people outside our home
-          Allow myself distractions and simple pleasures
-          Have conversations without always feeling the need to bring up N’s death
-          Digest food, breathe deeply, calm my heart
-          Set aside expectations of the support I want from others; accept their discomfort
-          Stop feeling sorry for myself
-          Read the news
-          Care about my appearance
-          Cook for my family
-          Sit through a yoga class, meditation session, or religious service without crying
-          See the outside of the place where N killed himself without stressing
-          Begin to reconstruct a positive sense of N and his life (looking at photos, etc.)

I can take courage from the shifts that have already happened. I am no longer in a state of raw shock; things will get better, mainly. (Though since writing this post, I find myself back in some early stages of disbelief, etc.) At the same time, I don’t want to feel pressured to lengthen the list or speed recovery or reassure people that I am “better.”

Among the things I still cannot do 14 weeks later:
-          Forget the horror of March 19
-          Get through days without crying
-          Put away the “what if’s” and “should have, could haves”
-          See certain triggers without thinking of N
-          Rue what might have been had he lived
-          Write the years of his life span or think of what to put on his gravestone
-          Erase him from my phone or address book
-          Plan for the future
-          Accept that he is gone

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