So, how are you doing, Charlie?

Beltane and the Island Moon

Friday gratefuls: Dysthymia. Cornbread. Watermelon. Brie. Eggs over easy. English muffins. Korean fried chicken and fries. Murdoch. Kate, always Kate. Emily. Mark Koonz, Primordia Landscaping. Death. Life. Birth.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Babies in utero. Warriors.

About half way through the night Murdoch hopped on my bed and remained there snugged up against my leg or curled up near my head. Very sweet. Comforting. I’ve had choppy sleep, very choppy, leading, I think, to a state somewhere between dysthymia and fatigue. Lots of naps, feeling like I might be covering up some angst. Though. I don’t feel I am otherwise. Always hard to sort through when my body says one emotion and my lev, my brain/heart, says another.

Manifestation. Came home from my walk yesterday, about an hour and a half along the Pearl River and back, sat down and wrote Ancientrails. Never really left the couch until bed time except for food and bathroom breaks. Read a lot, watched two episodes of WandaVision with Joe and Mary. Bed.

In between Mary and Seoah asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. No, not really. Later when Joe and Seoah took off to get the Korean fried chicken, Seoah again asked me if I wanted to come along. No, not really. Couchlock as the cannabis folk say. With no cannabis.

Gonna start saying yes, go against my of the moment inclination. I know getting out is good. Could be a manifestation, too, of the long Covid lockdown when going out didn’t make sense. At least not most of the time. Oh, we can go places?

But, there is that niggling wonder. Is this grief? Depression? Dysthymia? Am I papering over despair? Got a workbook yesterday, Mourning and Mitzvah. Worked in it a bit. Helpful perspectives. Recommended by Neshama, the former executive director of CBE. Her father died not long after Kate, so she’s in process, too.

Here’s where I feel I am right now. I’ve navigated the awful heart’s chaos of the hours and day after Kate died. Cried a lot. Experienced pain and recrimination over things I could have done differently. Been there when she died, stayed more nights at the hospital, for instance. Had a wonderful, soul nourishing evening during Kate’s memorial service, felt grief was not mine alone, rather many, many folks shared it. Sat shiva, calmer, much less turbulent. Walked to the end of the driveway with Seoah, Rabbi Jamie, Alan, Marilyn, Jamie. Saw the world beyond mourning, walked back home with its awareness now in my soul.

I’ve experienced wonderful, loving support from family: Ruth and Seoah especially who came immediately to stay with me. Then Joe’s help for a week, much needed and appreciated. After Joe and Seoah left I had two weeks facing the house, our bed, the breakfast table, alone. As I needed to do.

During that time I chipped away at the many unfinished parts of life left over after Kate died. Got most of them done. The urgent ones and a few not so urgent. Banking. Bills in her name switched to mine. Social Security. The IRA. I’ve mentioned these before. After each day slogging through this swamp, I came home to no Kate.

Two weeks ago today I took Joe and Seoah up on their offer to come stay for a month plus at their place on Hickam AFB. My sister, Mary, is here too thanks to the carom shots of Covid. I’ve talked about Kate some, mention her often, have had some painful memories. Let them in, sat with them. Over and over.

With the exception of the sleep disturbances I feel good. Mostly. Not joyful or eager, no, but not mired in a slough either. Well, maybe yesterday.

Doesn’t feel to me like I’m ducking, pushing away. I feel I’ve accepted Kate’s death and am now at a point of trying to integrate her absence, her permanent absence with my ongoing life. How do I honor her life rather than focus on her death? Feels healthy to me.

Yes, there will be a new, different Charlie after all this, but I’m in no rush to meet him. I feel hopeful about him, even excited, but patient.

A hard road, but still an ancientrail, one trod many, many, many times by folks all over the world. I find that notion comforting.

This entry was posted in Aging, Dogs, Family, Feelings, Friends, Hawai'i, Judaism, Memories, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Third Phase, Travel, Weather +Climate. Bookmark the permalink.

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