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Reality Bites


teriw

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I hope this doesn't turn into one of my "way too long" posts. You be the judge!

I started back at work this week. Although I originally hoped to start back earlier, there was just nothing out there. The thing is, I needed all that time -- I wasn't ready to face this new phase yet, even though I thought I was. Then at the perfect time my manager from my previous position called to see if I'd come do a short-term contract. They were in a panic and I would be "doing them a favor." That's always a good way to enter a work situation! :) The timing and the situation was ideal for me, including the "short-term" part. So I'm back as of this week.

It's really good to have a reason to get out each day and be among people, and perhaps buy some cheerful spring clothes. I see people regularly and I've been productive on other projects, but it's different in a work situation. There is a sense of feeling "normal," because for me not working is definitely not normal. That feels really good. And I get to do some of my work at home so I don't have to leave my canine angel, Mrs. Dickens, for extended hours on end. Everyone was happy for me to return and I felt welcomed. (This is the 2nd time I've returned - I left "for good" back in October.)

My first day back was Tuesday, and although the day was hectic with other appointments to keep, I felt very "up." Wednesday, all those memories came back. Being here when things were "good" and "normal," before cancer. What it was like when we were first getting the diagnosis. Then what it was like when things weren't looking good, and I ached to be at home with Bill. Then what it was like when I went on leave once things really took a downturn. And then of when I returned last August after Bill was gone, and saw paperwork that referred to Bill as "deceased." I remember I was nearly sick right then and there. This all was yet another reminder of how things keep moving forward and also stay the same. Yet just in this month, my manager lost her father, and my co-worker almost lost hers -- so it's a misconception that things are actually staying the same. If we all wore our pains on our sleeves, we bereaved would probably feel more "at home" in the world.

With each step closer to "normal," the pain reaches a deeper place and another little chip of my protective denial shell falls to the floor. Driving home I found myself wondering when, if ever, I might wake up with a completely "light" feeling. I talk about future plans that I can get excited about, I want to continue with my photography and writing dreams that Bill helped me to form, and I have a hope for the future...thing is, I always project WAY into the future, so I don't know how to walk through this particular mire in any other way than I'm currently doing. I speculated months ago that I believed the way through this was finding little pieces of joy, and one day realizing that there is more joy than sorrow. I haven't reached that day and am probably miles and miles from it, but I still sense this is the way it works. I feel closest to Bill and most at peace when I am closest to God -- yet I struggle lately to be close to God, even though I literally see His hand at work all around me. Go figure.

My good friend, Nancy, asked me if after talking to the woman at our church fair (see my other recent post), was I able to see my own progression? I had to think about that. I answered that I'm not sure what "progression" means in this circumstance, but I hope I will one day. After having a little time to think on it, I suppose I see some things that can be called "progression," but I don't like the word -- it implies I'm progressing away from Bill (even if that's not really the meaning), and that's just too sad right now. But there are moments of joy -- and I do look forward to the day when their light is cast so bright, that the sorrow is forced to recede -- and I suspect I will then again feel closest to Bill and closest to God.

I'll answer my own question -- it was way too long! If you made it this far, thank you for reading...

I wish you all peace,

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I wish you peace as well. It will come as you say in little pieces. One day you will realize that the pain has just become another part of you. It will always be there but you won't think about it all of the time, just as you don't think about a foot or an arm. It will just be part of you, a part that you don't dwell on but also a part that by then you wouldn't be able to live without. You see it turns out the pain becomes the person, if that makes any sense.

As for God there will be times that you don't feel like He cares and on those days you will feel more distant from Bill. We are all so much a part of one another and all a part of God's huge family. He understands our pains and even our distance as long as we don't let it turn in to denial of Him. He has big shoulders and believe me He has plans for you that you don't even dream about right now. So don't give up on Him, Bill and most of all yourself. Time may not really heal but it does make things easier to live with. My best to you. Lillian

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Hugs to you Teri.

I wrestle with those work feelings everyday. I think about before Mom got sick...and even way before when she was at work with me. And then this time last year. I didn't have time to enjoy the beginning of spring. I was running back and forth with Mom to appointments. Today I roamed around my yard looking at all of the blooms and buds. A new time, a better time maybe? I am still so sad.

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I speculated months ago that I believed the way through this was finding little pieces of joy, and one day realizing that there is more joy than sorrow. I haven't reached that day and am probably miles and miles from it, but I still sense this is the way it works

Terri--

I'm not sure if I just used the "quote" function correctly--but I was really taken with what you said about finding pieces of joy and one day realizing there is more joy than sorrow. I too am a long way away from this...but I also strive to get there at some point.

Like you, I was just offered a new job last week and it is a real struggle. It will be much more chaotic than my current job--but it puts me back in politics, which is my passion. Nevertheless, I find myself so sad that I can't share this with my dad...I know he would be really proud of me...and I know it is important to move forward in my life. Yet at the same time, with each change, I find myself scared that moving forward somehow moves me "away" from him.

I wish I had more answers. I just want you to know that I relate to what you are saying...all of these changes are hard because they remind us of loss. And yet, in these changes, and in facing these challenges--I really believe it moves us closer to finding those "pieces of joy" that you have written so eloquently about.

I wish you peace.

Best,

Leslie

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Thank you for this post Teri,

in sharing, you touch so many of us in one way or another.

With each step closer to "normal," the pain reaches a deeper place and another little chip of my protective denial shell falls to the floor.

This one especially touches me right now in this time of my life.

Year 1 after my dad and again last year after my mom passed away was a mix of shock and profound sadness and anger. It was a sorrowful blur to me.

Now it's Year 2 and much like with my dad, I am finding this year the hardest. My mind is more clear, the profound sadness replaced with lonliness and a quiet deep sadness that no one else in my real world sees.

It "looks" more normal...but it feels lonely and the grief is such a part of me- I often wonder when the "living" begins again or if going thru the motions of living and "acting" like everything is ok-is actually part of the process that eventually makes things "ok" again one of these days?

I don't know!

I guess I will know after year 3 if "things" feel better or if this is something I learn to get used to and coping skills and time eases the loss.

With my dad, when I made it to year three (when everyone told me things would feel more normal and the pain begins to dull a bit (or perhaps you are just more USED to them being gone) , and life is supposed to start getting better- my mom up and dies!) I've never made it past year three!

Like you, I will answer my own questions. But I'm glad to know that we aren't alone and can be here for one another.

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