It certainly took long enough! Good grief!
Just an update to let ya’ll know how I am. Better. Much better. And when I compare me now to me last year, I can’t believe how much better I’m doing and how much better I’m feeling. My brain no longer feels like it’s been hit with a shovel. Try it sometime. That will replicate just part of the feeling. That, and dropping without warning into a deep chasm…just walking along, doot doo doo, la la la, shovel, chasm. Or was it chasm, shovel? I think it was more like chasm, shovel. Started to collect myself and CLANG!!!
My point. My point? My point is, don’t try this at home, kids. I really could have used some warning on this whole grief thing. Even a day to brace myself, I think, would have helped the whole cognitive dissonance/generalized WTF?!?!? sensation. I’m trying to describe it from a year and four months later. For some reason it’s gotten harder to keep count. I’ve never been good at counting. Or math. I have downright dyscalculia (like dyslexia, but for math), frankly, and I’d get it officially diagnosed if I had the grand it would take to do so. Always have, but the whole mental rescrambling that grief has done to my brain hasn’t exactly helped.
Life in general. It’s better. I am actually feeling motivated to–get this!–wear lip gloss. OMG. What a step. A year ago any form of makeup, even lip gloss (at least of any color) seemed like a complete waste of time. Getting ogled at the beach actually annoyed me. No, not just annoyed. It made me mad. It made me mad that it wasn’t Nelson to look that way at me, and that he wouldn’t be there to look that way at me any more, and these random guys were a poor substitute.
Right now? I think I’d be more like, eh, who cares. So that’s progress of a sort. I suppose.
I also wore an actual bracelet to church. A fancy silver cuff, from India, which I bought back in the ’90s when both silver and gold were cheaper and when I had actual money (ah….money….for incidental expenses!). I’ve pondered doing such things before but this was the first time I felt motivated enough to actually act on it. I think that means something. I don’t know what.
Also, unlike last year, I can contemplate dating a guy who isn’t Nelson without feeling nauseated. Yes, last year (the first year) I would literally feel sick to my stomach at the thought of dating another guy. Now…I can at least ponder the idea. The thought of acting on it still feels like too much work. I have too much else to do right now. I need to get a job. I need to get my hospital chaplaincy training (CPE) application in. I need to get the other aspects of my life restarted. I need to take care of me before I start thinking about being with somebody else. It just seems like good emotional housekeeping.
I’m not judging anybody who does/did it a different way. We’re all in more or less the same boat, but we didn’t all come from the same starting point, and things pan out slightly (sometimes very) different for everybody depending on all kinds of things. So I’m not being judgy. I’m just saying this is where I am right now. I’m just trying to take this thing one day at a time. I pretty much went “Splat!” I’m rebuilding. That’s how it is.
I’m going to close by telling you one cool and very healing thing I’ve been doing this week, and that’s going to the church services for the beginning of Great Lent. In the Orthodox Church, Great Lent (as opposed to Christmas Lent/Advent) starts on Monday, not Wednesday, and the whole first week of Lent is called Clean Week. Clean Monday, Clean Tuesday, etc. From Clean Monday through Clean Thursday, we celebrate a service that includes a wonderful hymn called the Canon of St Andrew of Crete. It’s a hymn of repentence that includes scriptural examples from both the Old and New Testaments. It’s really amazing how much scripture it covers. (I’m a church nerd, I like this stuff.) It’s called Clean Week because Lent is kind of the Spring Cleaning of the soul. I like that idea. :)
The main hymn of the service was one that was going through my head a lot after Nelson died. I mean, it was going through my head pretty much constantly. And I never got to sing it last year–I missed the services since I was too much of a space cadet to figure out that they were having them in my area.
But this year, I’ve been going to the services and singing with the choir every night, and this hymn has been giving me chills every time. Every time. I love it! It goes like this:
My soul, my soul, arise! Why are you sleeping? The end is drawing near, and you will be confounded. Awake, then, and, be watchful, that Christ our God may spare you, Who is everywhere present and fills all things.
I will close with the main refrain of the Canon, which is sung after every verse. Really, it is at the heart of Orthodox Christianity.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.
If I have offended any of you, or given you any hurt, please forgive me.