Sunday, August 29, 2010

School Of Life

I'm back in Vermont now. I thought I'd hit the ground running and pick up where I started.  I forgot that travel is tiring and that there's jet lag.  I also failed to take into consideration that I was under-slept (if anyone knows how to explain time zones to a dog I could use a pointer on that as Fay likes her breakfast at 6AM eastern time, 3 pacific time) and had spent the last month doing pretty difficult and draining work.

In other words, "Oh yeah, I'm tired.  Oh yeah, I'm grieving.  I forgot."  Sort of.

One thing my dad taught me was that you can learn some pretty fascinating things from pretty much any situation you're in.  This month has been EXTREMELY educational.

My dad's death has been the first major loss of my life.  I know - I've been incredibly lucky.  Now I'm finding out what grieving is - and isn't.  For example, it's not just crying or crying all the time.  There's also "numb" and "oblivious," "fatigued" and plain old "sad."

You all probably already know this and don't need to be told.

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on.  Hopefully I'll manage it in the next couple of days.


Carin said...

Mel, that was my experience, too - everything you mention. And I found that my re-entry to my normal life a month after my dad's death was in a way even harder than the first month, because I was away from the milieu in which mourning was a group activity and the family's first priority. The first month was full of such heightened emotion, there were some experiences that were almost euphoric, paradoxical as that may seem. When I went back to my work life, it was good to be busy, but I also felt like a visitor from planet death-in-family, experiencing everything foggily.

Hang in there, and don't be too hard on yourself. (With time zones and dogs, I have no useful advice. I never won that battle.)

Hope said...

We lock Gracie in the kitchen at night. I'm heartless like that. :p

lizkdc said...

I was once talking with a German friend who said, "in German we have a word--how do you say in English, 'the work of grieving?'"

I said, uh, we don't. I had a similar experience, almost a strange euphoria, around the time of my dad's actual death, partly fed by the huge crowd of all who knew him, and engaging with them, and the end of a terrible illness. But for a long time after, we are doing the work of grieving, within an everyday world that doesn't know we need room for it.

Melissa said...

I did experience euphoria too - at Dad's interment. I thought it was due to the physical exertion of being a pall bearer and the fact that it was a beautiful day, that all the relatives were there (including the dead ones - it's a family plot) and relief that he didn't have to suffer anymore. I guess that's normal.

I've definitely reduced my expectations for myself. For example you can see that I haven't stepped up the blogging pace much!