Grief is a journey. Since my spouse passed away, I’ve noticed that on some days I have more focused energy than on other days. I’ve given myself the summer to recuperate from the past year or more of coping with Alan’s stay in the nursing home and then his loss. He made such a big impact on my life, and that’s all I’m willing to say right now. A relative commented that he was a complex man. Yes, he was. He could be many things, and part of that was reflecting myself back to me. That is what they say twin flames do. We trigger the hell out of each other, but if we are willing to meet each other and do the work of looking inward and seeing what there is to learn, it can make the life journey that much more amazing.

So today was a good day. I actually got a solid night’s sleep. I calculated that exercise an hour prior to sleep could help, so I save my weight lifting for later in the day. It did. When I got up this morning, I was willing to tackle–not the world–but my corner of it. Earlier this summer I tackled the work of taking down what I think of as Alan’s “satellite jungle.” He enjoyed TV; I do not. And although it might have been easier to leave the five satellite dishes in place on the front lawn, I thought they were ugly, and besides, I was getting tired of mowing around them. The first two came off easily with a wrench and WD-40, but the other three were stuck fast. I whipped out the hacksaw and they fell–to my great satisfaction. Then I was left with the task of digging out the poles, which was today’s task. Since the first post I removed was buried in concrete, I had to assume the remaining four were also.

Ingenuity is a gift to have. What to do? Some folks advised me to leave the posts in the ground. I said, “Ugly!” So I dug around each one to the level of the poured concrete, grabbed the hacksaw again and sawed them off below ground level and refilled in the holes. I admit, I ran out of steam, and the last one sits for tomorrow morning after another good night’s sleep renews a tired body. But I am left with satisfaction that a task most people wouldn’t bother with is almost done and my yard is clear of the debris of technology. It looks nice, like a garden Nature intended, leaving me free to just take care of excess plant debris. I’ve some dead wood to pick up, and then I am enjoying the consideration of what Native species I can replant to enjoy the wooded area to the rear of our home.

And yes, it is still “our” home. I figure if I am going to be the mad widow who still talks to the dead, I don’t have to change it all up at one time. And this is another thing I have learned about grief. If you find yourself in a similar place, take grief at your own pace. I cleared out what I would not miss, and held on to a few things I would miss. His daughter got his favorite art pieces. I dispersed what other things relatives had requested or his Will stated. I found I could not endure the good memories until I had forgiven the bad ones. That process cleared my heart to enjoy the good. Enjoy the bittersweet. I find it is better to be alive and remembering than to toss myself in the ground after the coffin. Even as I type this, I hear in memory Alan’s snort at my sarcasm, and I remember that he was never afraid to experience life at its fullest. So what is the next thing on my bucket list? Live large. At least give it a try.


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