Archive for December, 2010

September 26, 2004

// December 10th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Amy and I have been having trouble dovetailing our schedules lately to fit in our morning walks. For the last few weeks Dave and I have been getting up early to go for a walk before he has to get ready for work.
I don’t ordinarily like to look 5:30 AM directly in the eye, so when he whispers my name into the dark room it’s a real chore to force myself out of bed. As I’m getting dressed my eyes are still stubbornly pretending to sleep. Within ten minutes, after a glass of soy milk and victory over my eyelids, I’m good to go. I really like being up in the mornings. It’s the getting up part that’s so hard for me.
Forty-five minutes later as we trudge up the hill to our front door I’m on an endorphin high that lasts all morning. I’ve noticed that my energy levels are up dramatically since I’ve started the regular exercise. I’m also feeling happier as I go about my days. Now, my core is happy with a shadow of sadness instead of the other way around. The presence of my “Other Self” is fading, freeing me from that shadow.
I am so grateful to God for leading me to the massage therapist. She has been my facilitator, helping me find my way out of the prison of grief and guilt.

My eyes are opening to new views of my regrets.
I had been beating myself up over leaving Steve to go on vacation the June before he died, even though it was he that insisted I not change my plans. All the while we were away I imagined how much better he would be by the time we returned home. None of us had any understanding of how little time we had left together.
But if I hadn’t gone Amy wouldn’t have had the opportunity to help him as she did. She came over every morning to help him with his daily needs, and in the evening to help him get ready for and into bed. They spent time together, they talked, and she cared for him. She also took him to several doctors’ and physical therapy appointments and was able to gain a greater understanding of what he was going through.

I still ache for time I missed with him but I see that it was good for Steve and Amy to have had that time with each other. And I know that we’ll be together later.

September 11, 2004

// December 9th, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

Last night I had two vivid dreams. In the first one I was nursing a month-old baby and I had abundant milk.

The second dream was … complicated. I was parked on a quiet street in my van waiting for someone (a friend of Robyn’s?). He got into the back of the van and as I turned to tell him not to sit in the center seat I noticed that the car was full of people, each seat and the space between the center seats were full but I counted fourteen of us.
When I pulled away from the curb the van felt very heavy and the engine bogged down but I kept trying. Somehow I veered from the road into a small field that was surrounded by small asphalt roads and some buildings. I tried to drive from the grass onto one of the roads but I couldn’t get onto the first one. I turned left to drive across the open grassy area wanting to try for another of the roads…. Here’s where it gets weird! I drove toward a small patio (?) area where there were about a dozen penguins (the kind on the Mario games). They were waddling around randomly, eating French fries off the ground as they wandered. There was a two or three story building adjacent to the patio. Several people were leaning out of the windows laughing and talking to each other as they threw more fries to the penguins. That’s when Dave woke me up to go on a walk.

I researched a few of the dream symbols. The baby can represent advancement, a longing for rebirth, starting over. (I guess I am trying to start over.)
The number fourteen can signify the unexpected and a need to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. It is also symbolic of overindulgence and how one is giving too much into one’s desires. I guess my brain knows that I’m overeating and shopping too much.
I thought the car was me, but that didn’t feel quite right so I looked that up, too. It can mean a transformation into something new. Since I was having difficulty driving I’m sure that points to the difficulty of this journey I’m on, overcoming grief and guilt.
Just a guess…

September 8, 2004

// December 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // From the forthcoming book "Losing Steve: One Mother's Journey Through Grief"

I went in for another massage today. I expected to be as out-of-it as I was last time but this was better. The meditation seems to help me focus on my future, keep me moving forward.

We chatted as she worked on my back. When she found a particularly painful spot she said it was good that everything was so near the surface. With her finger she drew a short line between my right shoulder blade and spine saying, “This is the gateway to guilt and grief.” I was stunned by her accuracy.

I have been holding in so much guilt in the form of “should haves”. As I lay there trying to let go of the guilty feelings I couldn’t. I asked why and she told me “It’s like being afraid of success. Afraid of the unknown. If you let it go, what will be there in its place?”
This has helped and I’ve changed my mantra ~ “With courage and grace I step boldly into my future for I am a woman of strength. I release the need to hold on to pain and grief for I know your mercy and forgiveness. Thank you, Lord.”

I know that neither Steve nor God want this for me, to carry such a burden of sorrow. I can serve God better without this load.

I know now, too, why I’ve been having so many physical symptoms lately (panic attacks, back pain, food cravings). My body is trying to find its new balance, asking me- ~ are you sure you want to let this go? Yes, body…I’m sure. But we’ll take as much time as we need. We won’t move too fast. We’ll be fine.

And it’s OK to let go of the guilt. There was nothing I could do to keep Steve here, even though my heart tells me I was his mom. I was supposed to make everything all better. But I couldn’t make this better. I couldn’t kiss this away.