creative support for times of change

another layer

The sound of my typing blends with the sound of my floor being ripped up.

What a journey the past two weeks have been! Though there are still many unknown’s and a number of fears, I am feeling better – compared to Monday.

Monday the worker didn’t show up. Monday I couldn’t get a hold of him to find out why. Monday all the stress came crashing down on my head and weighed very heavy.  How could I have been so proud of myself regarding how I was handling things and now suddenly I find it all too much?

After some pondering, some paddling, some sleep…I’ve got a hunch as to what might be going on. Clearly we’re dealing with different layers and time lines when we’re dealing with loss and grief.

When my brother died I think I went into logistic mode. There’s so much to do, including supporting family members and his friends. I felt strange but not like how I would have imagined I’d feel at such a huge loss. It seemed buried or far away some how. Seven months later (last weekend) I’m in Toronto and suddenly I feel a wave of sadness. It hit me with no warning:

This was Peter’s city.
        I’ll never see him again here.
                 I’ll never see him again period.
A similar pattern seems to be showing up with this sudden unexpected (nor desired) renovation. You keep it together in order to get what needs to be done, done. Contacting and meeting with the various people who can advise you, choosing the various folks to do the work, figuring out how the heck you’re going to pay for it, and packing and moving and asking for help to get all your stuff out of the way. That’s what I had control over.

Now that that part is done…it’s out of my hands to a large extent. I have to let go. I have to trust the people to come and do what they said they would. When they don’t, or when it changes from what I understood, I suddenly feel all the stuffed down feelings that go with this whole change – overwhelmed, frustrated, scared – anything but strong.

Like another layer of grieving.

What helped me through that period? Sleep for sure. Let’s not underestimate the power of rest. Reminding myself to breathe, big, deep, belly breaths. And I think the biggest thing for me was expressing those raw feelings. First privately through uncensored journal writing, then to an empathetic ear or two. And allowing the tears and the anger to show too. All these things helped me find my balance again.

So here’s what I want to remember when attempting to live aligned through a tough time:

  • Acknowledge that there will be layers and various depths. 
  • Listen to your body. 
  • Feel what you feel. 
  • Ask for and accept support.

What about you? Anything you want to add that has helped you in your experiences?

2 comments on “another layer

  1. When grieving, one important step is to fully live the pain, the anger, the apathy, whatsoever… As deeply as possible, with all your cells. And move forward. When you feel like moving, even for the first very tiny step, just walk it. Then, enjoy how you feel and notice the good and the weird. Accept there's part of a physical process to live.

  2. So well put Laurence. Sounds like experience talking. Thank you. Linda

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