I was supposed to go out tonight to do my volunteer work at Mama Gena's, but then I got an invitation to go to the country this weekend and I decided I needed a night to relax and get us - as in Lucy and myself - ready to go away.
This entire week has been rainy and I don't do well with rain. I'm so ready for a few beautiful spring days in the country.
This morning I read this daily reading in "The Language of Letting Go" by Melody Beattie and I liked it so much I wanted to include it in the blog.
Ultimately, to grieve our losses means to surrender to our feelings.
So many of us have lost so much, have said so many good-byes, have been through so many changes. We may want to hold back the tides of change, not because the change isn't good, but because we have had so much change, so much loss.
Sometimes, when we are in the midst of pain and grief, we become shortsighted, like members of a tribe described in the movie Out of Africa.
'If you put them in prison,' one character said, describing this tribe, 'they die.'
'Why?' asked another character.
'Because they can't grasp the idea that they'll be let out one day. They think it's permanent, so they die.'
Many of us have so much grief to get through. Sometimes we begin to believe grief, or pain, is a permanent condition.
The pain will stop. Once felt and released, our feelings will bring us to a better place than where we started. Feeling our feelings, instead of denying or minimizing them, is how we heal from our past and move forward to a better future. Feeling our feelings is how we let go.
It may hurt for a moment, but peace and acceptance are on the other side. So is a new beginning.
God, help me to fully embrace and finish my endings, so I may be ready for my new beginnings."
I do feel like I've moved through a good year and a half of extreme grief. I've been reading "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert, a book about marriage, and I was finding it rather boring, until the other night at 4 a.m. when I couldn't sleep and I got to the part about divorce and how truly painful an experience it is. I always felt that it was the combination of things - the death of my mother, divorce, Zoe moving away, not having a job, not having a home, all of that that contributed to my feeling underwater for a good year - for spending so much time at Friends In Deed, just crying and sitting with other people who were dealing with serious life challenges. I think that the divorce alone could have caused so much of the grief now, I have a new respect for everyone who's gone through it and allowed themselves to grieve instead of jumping right into a new relationship. Although I did date in those early days and I'm glad I did, even though I spent most of the dates talking about the divorce, my ex, my mother, everything truly sexy.
So now I'm more comfortable with being on my own and dating is not high on my list of desires right now. It's on there and it's moving up, but it's not at the top of the list.
Tonight is "Friday Night Lights" one of my favorite shows on television. I'm going to call a friend soon and hopefully talk for awhile, so that I'm not alone all night. And then I'm going to throw together Lucy's and my belongings (including a pair of rainboots for me) - and get ready to enjoy nature.
I'm also trying not to worry about the next reading of the play. What good is worrying going to do? As my friend Sally Fisher says, "If I thought my worrying was going to help anything - or change anything, I might do it. But it never does, so why bother?"
So instead I will acknowledge how grateful I am for my daughter, my life, my home, my friends, my loftmate, my job, my writing partner, my director, the wonderful actors, everyone who has been incredibly helpful getting the readings together, NY, Lucy, Lola's gentle passing, a spring that will be so incredibly green thanks to all the rain -- and life.
And the spiritual connection I have inside - that is a huge gift.