Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Horizon Tilted

I meant to blog yesterday, but the day got away from me. Too much work to do (for a paycheck, that is). Last night got away from me, too, partly because I was lost amid a sea of wrapping paper and ribbon, and partly because I had a moment of grief so agonizingly painful that I could hardly function for a while.

I've chosen to be public in the grief process not just because it helps me to get through but also because I hope it might help someone else. Everyone's grieving is unique, but it really does help to know that you are not alone. I've seen people end up being defeated by their grief, lapsing into long-term depression and/or displaying destructive behaviors. I don't want that to happen to me or to anyone else. We can help each other through, and we can be helped by those who comprise our support networks (whether that is online or in person).

Last night grief swept over me in a great wave when I realized that I could no longer regain my sense of place in this world by talking to my mother. I (willingly) moved to the part of the country where my husband is from. And I do love it here for many, many reasons, not the least is because I love my husband. But now and then I feel like a fish out of water. The culture is just that much different from what I'd known for most of my life. And all of the family are Tim's family -- he's known them, if not from the time of his own childhood, then from theirs. I've known them all for just nine years. Not the same thing. Not the same level of knowing. How I wish it could be!

A conversation with my mother could dispel the feeling of disorientation instantly, any time it came up. It wasn't what we talked about that mattered -- it was that we talked, even for just a few minutes. Somehow my sense of place would be restored as I heard her voice and chatted about mundane things. It gave me strength to keep going.

And with that point on the horizon gone for good, I'm struggling.

- Catherine


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

A phenomenal number of my friends have lost parents this year. I guess we're "that age" but it seems odd to have so many in one calendar year. I've got a long prayer list for us all, and know that somehow, in a few years, we'll all feel at home with the horizon in a new place. We're Not Alone.

Susanne said...

Hugs to you Catherine. I can't even imagine what it's like to live far away from my mom. May God carry you through the times when grief hits hard.