"How are you?" "How are you doing today?" "Are you O.K.?" We all ask that many times every day. It's the kind of question that both complete strangers and close friends ask. It's meant to be friendly, kind, concerned. But for me right now, it's a question I don't know how to answer. What is "O.K."? And what kind of a scale do I use to measure "how" I am today? What words do you use to describe something for which there are no words? Or the words that accurately describe how I "am" are words I can't or choose not to use?
Some people don't ask. They just look at me with sadness or pity in their eyes. Some people just avoid me altogether, looking away, or pretending they didn't see me. I know that they don't know what to say either. I've been there; done that to others myself. I understand. I know they care - deeply - and that they just don't know what to say.
Today, one friend gave me a CD of songs that she put together - songs that minister to her pain as she walks through her own recent loss and heartache. I know she understands how much it hurts and how very impotent words are to help, but for some reason, words set to music can pour healing oil on the deepest wounds. Thank you, my friend!
Another friend gave me a little book called "Grief Therapy" by Karen Katafiasz. It's only 35 pages long and each page is a "lesson" about grief. I'm thinking about posting one a day ... kind of a "Thought for the Day". Here's Day #1:
"Respect the power of grief.Know that it can affect youpsychologically, physically,and spiritually in intense andsometimes surprising ways.Stay gentle with yourself."
Today, everything hurts. Every thought, every memory, every glance, every part of my body. I feel like I have the proverbial elephant sitting on my chest. I don't know whether to give in to it and just muddle around in the puddle of my thoughts and emotions, or to look for some distraction and escape.
I decided to give myself "permission" to withdraw a bit and spend time alone in my room for awhile. I'm following the advice to "stay gentle with myself". I won't feel bad or guilty about "wasting" the time to get done something that needs to be done today.