This morning I woke up feeling out of sorts. I can’t seem to shake it and it is irritating the crap out of me.  There is so much noise running through my head, and unlike days prior, I feel powerless to stop it. The things that have comforted me recently are not doing their job. Perhaps I am getting closer to the core of my grief.
Grief aside, I am worried about my husband, who hates his new job; I am worried about my brother, who remains adrift; I am worried about me and where to go from here. I just looked up companion animal quarantine practices in Trinidad and Tobago and the quarantine period is for one month for cats and dogs coming from the U.S. A million scenarios went through my head, and none of them were encouraging. Especially because, in the past few days, my fantasies have grown ever prettier and seemingly more attainable. I don’t want to be apart from my pets for a month. Please…feel free to tell me to cross that bridge when I get to it.
Another thing that is bothering me is that things I used to enjoy or cared about don’t seem to matter to me at the moment. I love reading celebrity gossip….it can be such an escape. My Facebook is filled with pages about ending animal cruelty and cats and dogs needing out of shelters. I can’t deal with it. The thought of going back to work and helping my clients navigate their day to day lives makes me feel physically ill. Not because I don’t care, but, because for the first time in my life I feel like I have bigger problems. This must be grief…because it is certainly not who I am.
I decided to go back into therapy about a month ago. I did this to deal with the emotional drain I was feeling due to my father’s illness, my husband’s unemployment and my troubled relationship with my mother. At the time, it felt like a somewhat intellectual under-taking, because after my first session, I really thought that I had things under better control than I had thought going in. I had come out of a deep depression that I only managed to conquer because there were things I HAD to do….go to work, visit my dad in the hospital. Those two things kept me from staying in bed and crying all day. If not for those responsibilities….I would have been totally lost (believe me, I was close). I am hoping that the responsibility of returning to work will pull me out of this, too. Hoping…but, not hopeful. But, now I will go to therapy with a whole new mission to find new meaning about my life, who I am, what I do, what I have to do and what I want to do.
In all honesty…most of this is background noise. My biggest concern right now is that I can’t seem to find my father. I have been talking to him, asking him things…but, so far nothing. It is distressing. After my grandmother died, my father, Uncle Dennis and I (and my trusted companion, Taz) went to clean out her house. We packed things up, we reminisced. One of the things my grandmother wanted me to have was her silverware. We could not find it anywhere. It was not in it’s usual spots, on top of the hutch or under the sideboard. My uncle went down to the basement to search, my father, upstairs to the bedrooms. We were thinking that as she lived alone, she had hidden it from workmen’s view. So, after a fruitless bit of time, I decided to ask her out loud. I said “Gram, we need your help. Where is the silverware?”. The first thing I heard in my head was “under the sofa”. I thought…if I find that silverware under the sofa, I am gonna freak. But, I walked into the living room, got on my hands and knees, lifted up the skirt and sure enough that’s where it was.  I yelled for my father and uncle, who were thrilled I had found it, but, I don’t think convinced of why. I didn’t care, I knew it was her who told me. I have not had any of that from my father yet. I need him to answer me…there are so many things I need his help with. Last night, Lisa got a little sign from him….it was very exciting. I called her because I was missing something, so she went looking through all the paperwork he left for us (he was very organized) and couldn’t find it. This paperwork was set up specifically in case of his death, it was in manila folders, inside of accordion folders, inside of very specifically marked Rubbermaid bins. He was nothing if not methodical. It was not in any of them. She said she was getting upset, and started crying and said “Jimmy, I need your help.” She said she heard “look in the desk drawer”, so she did, and there it was. This may seem unremarkable to you, but, if you could see and understand the level of detail my father put into his preparations, you would understand there is nothing ordinary about it. I keep hoping that maybe he is not with me is because he is saving it for the really important stuff. That he knows what I will really need him for. He knows what those things are. He knows those things scare me and make me feel alone.
As I search for strength today, I will try to remember the words I have used to comfort myself and others many times throughout the years….”This, too, shall pass”.


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