I think I am mourning the loss of my home. I say "I think" because I don't know anymore where the hell I am on this grief continuum. All the losses of the past six years are all bunched up into one big ball anyway. They all connect back to the death of my husband. I can't seem to separate one from the other.
It has only been five months since we sold the house and moved. Just five months that now feel like an eternity. The whole summer was spent cleaning and selling the home. Then, when it was sold, I literally on my own moved from a five-bedroom home into a two-bedroom space. I am down to one and a half storage units now housing the overflow which includes stuff I never had the time to get through when my mom died and my parent's house was sold, in 10/2007!
I was way too busy to think, much less grieve or process what moving would mean back in the summer. Now that I have some perspective with the passing of time, I look back with amazement that I was able to accomplish the feat of moving largely on my own. Sam was there during the actual 2-day move with the movers and he helped me a little with cleaning out the garage which ended up taking two long weeks. But there I was, a widowed overwrought mom, being forced to sell her home, working odd hours at the big box store, making sure teen boys got to their summer baseball games and accomplishing a major move on my own. The people in my world shrugged their shoulders and matter-of-factly went on with their lives, while mine was falling apart at the seams - literally.
And now here I am trying to cope with the aftermath. From this view I have tremendous admiration for what I accomplished over the summer. This was a big house and it had been pretty disorganized and messy from the years of my husband's illness and then my stint as an only parent. But there is also pent-up anger for this crazy world I inhabit that is so lacking in support, be it emotional or with helping with physical tasks. I can't quite put my finger on it to describe it properly. But it is this sense I get from others that my losses aren't really such a big deal, that they don't matter or count.
Well, let me set the record straight - losing my home was a tremendous loss and I am reeling from it five months later. But I don't know how to grieve this or where to go from here. Even Sam gives me that pat answer when I try and relate to him how much of a loss this is to me. You know the one - "You lost your home, it is over, now you have to get over it and move on..." I've asked him to stop reading this blog because he gets upset with me for getting too down, or feeling low and grieving too much. You know the drill. I'm sure you have heard all of that before too.
The thing is though, that this is a new loss. It is one slamming into me after a slew of others. Am I really supposed to be jumping cartwheels down the street and gleefully shouting, "I just lost my house five months ago!" Really, what do people expect? This is a major loss, although it is secondary to the death of my husband six years ago. That passage of time just keeps biting me in the backside. People think that because it has been awhile for me that I shouldn't be grieving at all, and I guess that includes the other losses that accumulated after my husband died.
There doesn't seem to be that much out there about handling and getting through secondary grief losses. Just that we need to acknowledge and grieve them individually. I think that some people view my ongoing grief as that for my husband and they think I am grieving too long. They don't know that the secondary losses along the way are part of the mix. And I've said this before, but in my case the pain I've experienced from these seemingly lesser losses has actually been harder for me to endure. Maybe it is because I'm more weary, have fewer resources, or am facing them without a spouse by my side. But these secondary challenges have been a chore to stare down in the eye.
Getting back to Sam, I just have felt that he has been critical and even holds what I post about against me. For example, he will remark that I seem more down when I am on the phone with him than how I seemed when I posted. Of course, none of our moods are stable. Maybe I was more upbeat or positive earlier in the day. And maybe my enthusiasm waned as the sun went down. I have felt I have had to defend myself and that is not what I want out of blogging. I surely do not want to say that my blog got between us!
I just read yesterday that the success of keeping a grief journal and I suppose blogging could fall under this category, is that it allows us to release toxic emotions. That then enables us to go on and face our days more productively. I will add that when I blog I take extreme care to be entirely honest and forthright. I present myself and whatever I feel at the time as it is for me. There is no hiding or sugarcoating.
So right now I am feeling some frustration with the pain that is haunting me based on losing my home. It is definitely not helping me to have excess time on my hands not working. I am going to reinvigorate my job-hunting focus - to step it up a notch. I am also going to devote more time and energy into clearing out the storage sheds. I need to keep busy and focused right now. And I am going to be kind to myself - really kind. And nurturing too. Maybe try and do some fun things just for me.
I am grateful:
1. For the return of McDonald's Shamrock Shakes.
2. That I have extra items to be able to donate to Goodwill.
3. For the great purse I bought some years back for $8.00 on sale, that I've used all winter. And I really was in need of one. It is a hand-knitted cable pattern design!
4. That I was able to get career counseling appts. on Tue. and Wed. I will get help with navigating the cyberworld which I am now floundering in.
5. For microwave popcorn.