OK, it is now time and I think I am getting the idea. I am slow to be sure, at getting this “living” thing down. I am indeed very reticent to say the least about moving on to a new life – yet sometimes now it almost seems exciting. I find that I smile automatically again – not as often as I did in my last life, but still, I smile. I cannot believe how that simple act of smiling causes my body to calm, breathe easier and look forward with my old relaxed inner strength. Am I beginning to recognize myself again?

It is now 3:38 AM – my witching hour – the time I wake up every day and try to get back to sleep – but fail….
I decided that tonight (or rather this morning), I would continue packing my truck with stuff for my cottage. It is still rather sparsely furnished – isn’t it amazing how important even a carrot peeler becomes when you don’t have one???

I used these early morning hours today to roam this house – you know – the one Jim and I raised our kids in – the one replete with memories. I am beginning to feel like a visitor in my own place – a stranger wandering through a museum, shopping for objects that can be carried forward – stuff that doesn’t drip with memories – stuff that doesn’t make me sad…

Today, I ran into many items I could use at the cottage. There is that second set of sheets for me and a desk lamp for my awesome new office at the cottage.
I ran across an old library book that the university was throwing away decades ago: “Death Be Not Proud”. What a coincidence that was…I read a few paragraphs and decided to revisit this timeless death/grief story again. It did not mean much when I was young, but it will now, I think. I also ran into two other modern grief books that I may be ready to read now and I will keep them available at the cottage too.

It does not seem that I grieve at the cottage – it is new and there is so much to do with moving in – new furniture and new colours in a much smaller space. My granddaughters are there and they are such happy little sprites that it is difficult to be reflective or sad while I am there. My daughter is really physically fit and healthy and is causing me to try to change my lifestyle back to what it once was with daily workouts and a healthier diet. I am lucky that she is so inviting and encouraging every day.

While the cottage has been a good respite from grief for me – time off you might say – coming back home and facing familiar territory, old friends and their “griefy looks”, “couple” things around the house, even the dishes and flatware we used – these things all bring back my aloneness.

I think, as painful as it is, coming to grips with my inner pain is important.
Another good cry in a fit of self-pity can be quite transforming. I have read that grief is hard work – you should not ignore it. Authors say it is important to acknowledge it and give your mind a chance to wrap itself knowingly around it. That is supposed to help you to develop a solid foundation upon which to build a new life – shit – it isn’t working.

Every now and then, I think back to a male friend of Jim’s – when I told him after six months that I was not doing very well, he looked at me with very surprised eyes and said,” Why not? You can’t change it. There is nothing you can do!” He was right and he was so “matter-of-fact” that I really have to wonder if I am not overdoing this period of my life. Maybe I am missing out on some very happy possibilities because I am not willing to move on more readily.

It doesn’t mean that I miss Jim less. It doesn’t mean that I love him less. It doesn’t mean that I would not change it all back if I could…

I once said to Jim that I wished it was me dying instead of him. He was aghast and said, “Don’t you ever say that again.” I am sure that he would not want me to waste a minute on the past. He would likely say – “Get on with your life. You are lucky enough to have this extra time beyond our life together – Use it!!” Would he be surprised at how much time it is taking me to re-wire my circuits? I know I am – I was not prepared to feel this hurt, this abandoned, this miserable. It has been nineteen months since his death after four years of fighting prostate cancer together. Could this be a little post traumatic stress too? We went through so much those last four years. Will it be four years to recover. Will I ever be “normal” again?

I am beginning to hate the word “REINVENTION”. I am not sure what it means or how to do it. I need to invent a new word for reinvention. Rather than redo what is already there, why not create a whole new self – rebirth – is that too escapist of me?

Back to the cottage….

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