Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's the Small Stuff that Does You In

Hard day today. All kinds of small stuff that was so hard to handle. I found HPs favorite silver ankh pendant, which he'd worn day and night for many years on a silver chain, until he went to the hospital two and a half years ago, after which he couldn't safely wear jewelry like that again. It was in a drawer I was tidying.

And then the cherry tree he loved, that huge branch coming down, most of the shade on the patio he loved now gone. The logs from part of it on the hearth waiting to dry and season and be used on the fire.

And while I was looking for a hat to go out walking, I saw his shoes, the ones his physio used to put on him for his standing exercise, now back on the shelf. I freecycled his ankle weights today to a grateful receiver.

Something at every turn. Notes with his writing on them. A Valentine he gave me last year, shopped for by HS but written painfully in HP's own writing, among papers I was sorting. Almost the last thing he ever wrote.

His eyeglasses, which I parceled today and sent to a charity which will use them for people in countries who can't afford the cost. I knew he knew his situation when he finally refused to have his glasses on. He was helpless without them, had always been very quick to want them on in the morning. So when he said quietly, no, I don't think so, when I asked him if he wanted them on, I knew, too. About ten days before he died.

Wanting to point out the birds on the patio today to him -- the male cardinal feeding two babies on a branch, the mother nowhere in evidence, probably at a shore house resting up, and a hummingbird, very rarely seen here, hovering around the feeder and the tree, who settled on the tree for a moment then darted away.

This is the hard time, when other people have returned to their lives, and I have to figure out the new shape of my life, but there's so much yet to work through and so many emotional landmines going off at any time. And I'm so tired. Now that I can afford to be tired, I am.

I keep remembering the labyrinth's advice: let it come, let it roll over you, then let it go.


  1. My dear, this is the hard time. The fatigue you couldn't afford strikes hard. Giving in to it is necessary for the physical healing of a tired body. I know that you find too much interest in life around you to be still for very long, but do try to have naps when you feel like it, and sleep a bit more than you might want. You are in my thoughts just as much now as before.

  2. I agree with Annie's wise council and understanding. Being bereft is not easy. You are in my thoughts and wish I could offer you more comfort at this weary time.

  3. Ditto to both comments above Liz. You are constantly in my thoughts.

  4. Hugs and much love to you as you heal and find ways to incorporate his ever-presence/absence in your life.

  5. I know. I haven't lost many loved ones in my life - but each time I've been almost startled by how the world just continues to go on around me. You're so wise to be living fully in the now, yet one day at a time - and looking forward as you are, Liz.

    Two positive things for me right now that put you square in my mind:

    I got a huge photo gig ... a charity gala in support of women caregivers. I'm doing it pro bono -having noticed how often you voiced your gratitude and how glad I felt that they were there for you both - remembering my own gratefulness for their presence in my mom's life. It feels wonderful to have something I can actually do to promote and support these amazing community treasures, especially as I'm seeing so many budget cuts that will affect them in the future. The proceeds from this gala will go far toward continuing and updating their training and equipment.

    And .... I literally stumbled over a labryinth nearby and it "just happens" to be at a place that I have a weekly hour-long wait. I'll dedicate my first walk to you and HP.

  6. Liz
    I am so sorry for your loss. It was wonderful reading your blog. You have such a lovely way of incorporating life, nature , art and change.
    Yes there are profound changes right now. My warmest wishes to you and your son at this time of loss.

  7. I still find myself (nearly a year later) wanting to come home and tell my dad about something I've seen, so I know exactly how you feel. Being tired is not a bad thing either - give yourself permission.

  8. I still find myself (nearly a year later) wanting to come home and tell my dad about something I've seen, so I know exactly how you feel. Being tired is not a bad thing either - give yourself permission.


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