Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Moving On

Well, bloggy friends, you may have noticed that my posts are a little fewer and farther between then they were this summer. The reason? I have entered the tunnel that is known as The School Year, and I will not emerge until early next June, blinking in the summer sun. I have said good-bye to closets, storage sheds and the garage that did not get cleaned this summer. I'll see them all next summer. Maybe.

Through the magic that is the Wonderful World of First Grade, I almost feel normal during the school days. During the seven school years that encompassed D's illness, I found if I could just get to school and close the door against the world, I was in a safe harbor. How could I not be happy reading about Lilly and her purple plastic purse to a roomful of rapt six year olds? Time spent among students who think I invented wonders like Silly Putty and Playdoh.

But outside of that classroom cocoon? I find, among other things, I'm suffering an identity crisis. My husband was 11 years older than I was, and that never seemed like a problem before. But since I lost D, I just feel so old. I find myself scanning a room full of people and trying to locate one that is about my age. I know that I am choosing senior citizens as my match. To quote Garth Brooks in a PC way, "I'm much to young to feel this darn old."

I find that some of the best advice for passage during this era of life comes from from the most unexpected places. Like the lady across the street who was holding a garage sale. All I wanted was to buy a geode collection for my science unit on rocks and minerals. Turns out she had lost her husband years ago to cancer. The difference was that she had three small children. I cannot even imagine trying to navigate this fog with tiny tots along for the journey. She somewhat bluntly told me, "You can choose an addiction like alcohol or drugs to dull your pain," (hadn't considered those), "but you've got to choose: do you want to be 3 months healed or 3 months deeper into an addiction that covers up what you will have to eventually deal with?" She suggested a grief support group with people close to my age who had lost spouses. Chronological age; not grief-induced age.

So, I asked around and found such a class. It meets at a church in a nearby town on Thursday evenings. I've signed up and will start this week. I know it is a good choice. I just so don't want to attend. It makes all of this real. And it means I will have to look at it all very closely. And once I pull it out and look at it? I don't think it will fit back inside of me. Can't even hold on to the grief forever. Feels like more loss at this point.

But may I quote Garth again?

How could I have known you'd ever say goodbye? 
And now I'm glad I didn't know 
The way it all would end the way it all would go 
Our lives are better left to chance
 I could have missed the pain 
But I'd of had to miss the dance 


Buttercup said...

I am so glad I didn't/don't know so many things...My dear friend Barbara died in May and there are days there are such holes. It sure hurts, but I'd have hated to miss the good times. Do miss your posts, but glad school is going well. Take good care.

Lynn said...

I so hear your heart on this. The grief support is probably a good idea, I didn't have an opportunity to do that.

Dawn said...

I hope you're glad you went, once you've been to a meeting.

I am praying for you - and your new 1st grade friends!


Susan said...

I found your blog through something you posted on another blog after your husband's death, and have been following ever since. My mother died very unexpectedly around the same time, and you are able to put into words feelings I can't express.

"And once I pull it out and look at it? I don't think it will fit back inside of me." That's exactly where I am right now - still in some sort of strange denial, not quite ready to face the truth. I will continue praying for you and me as we travel this unfamiliar road. Thank you for sharing your journey.