Capture Your Grief Prompt:
Day 16: RETREAT. After yesterday which is probably one of the most emotional days for our community, it is important to take time out to protect your own heart. If you are an active member in our community and belong to one or more support groups, caring for others as well as yourself can be very emotionally draining. We find ourselves helping to carry others grief too. Take today to be kind and gentle with your own heart. If that means retreating from the internet to take some space to breathe for a while, please do that. By looking after yourself first you become a more mentally strong person and therefore you are much better help to others.
Sometimes I just have to laugh. Lloyd and I went into this project looking to process part of our grief together, since (like most couples) we’ve traveled fairly separate paths. This month has not cooperated, though. I was away for a week. Lloyd has had three weeks in a row of more overtime than he’s had since he started this job. I got sick. We got a puppy. It was maybe ambitious of us to think we could do this project this month. So, we’re going to slow down a bit and try to just do a few a week until we can work through them at our own pace.
The prompt for the 16th was Retreat, as the previous day was Pregnancy & Infant Loss Day. We didn’t retreat. We couldn’t. Thursdays are typically one of our favorite evenings of the week. We get $4.99 fish and chips from our local diner. Seriously, these are the best fish and chips you’ll ever eat, and you cannot beat the price. Lloyd picks up on his way home, and we crash in front of the TV to watch Nashville on the DVR (during the summer we watch Graceland). We look forward to Thursday nights. The 16th, though? Lloyd had to work so late that Golden Spoon wasn’t still open when he came home. So, no fish and chips for us. I threw together some eggs and hash browns, which was actually quite delicious. We still watched Nashville, then Lloyd crawled into bed and was asleep before the lights were off. And I crashed on a blanket on the floor next to Didi in her crate. Not exactly the retreat we had looked forward to.
Grief, like life, doesn’t fit in a pretty box. Life goes on, whether or not we want it to. Sometimes that’s the saddest part. But, we get up. We put one foot in front of the other. We take the puppy out. We make coffee. We get food. We shower. We check our email. We take the puppy out again. We snuggle on the couch with the puppy. We do laundry. We go to work. We run errands. We do the mundane. We find little joys (like fish and chips). We live life. Sometimes the only retreat is to stop and take a deep breath before you take the next step.