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Seasons And Holidays


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It is snowing in Wisconsin...the first snow of the season. The first plow just went past our home trying to keep roads open and clear. I went to the window to watch the flakes fall to the earth and as they fell so did my tears fell. How well I remember how Bill and I so loved the first snowfall. We would grab our boots and down jackets and go for a walk....catching a few flakes in our mouths and laughing away the cold. Holding hands as usual, we would walk around the area wherever we were....and enjoy the silence snow offers and the beauty it provides. We might even get our cross country skis out just in case there was enough good snow later. We actually looked forward to the interior time winter offers. Except for icy roads, winter was a lovely gift.

As I increasingly attempt to live in the moment (reviving my old practices slowly...oh so slowly...as I can) I find most of them laden with deep wrenching pain. All of life hurts. Nothing is pain free. The snow, in its innate beauty, reminds me of the holidays, of course, which I now dread and used to love. Maybe someday I will find a bit of joy in them again....but I am far from that and I know deep in my heart that they will always be a bittersweet experience.

It is slick out there...sidewalks look pretty icy so it is time to unearth the ice walkers before taking Bentley out later. Do not want to fall and tear up the other shoulder.

I don't want to do any of this alone. My aloneness is increasingly real and increasingly painful. The phone rings less often in spite of having a good supportive circle of friends. There are fewer events...people hunker down in front of a fire. By Christmas I will have the fire in our house that Bill and I have wanted since we came off the RV life. I will sit alone in front of it knowing he is nearby but unreachable. How painful is that? Time to switch gears....perhaps pick up the paint brush instead of paying those bills that await my attention. Find a new moment....this one hurts far too much but I did live it as I need to and leave it when I must allowing it to sit a bit in the background as I distract myself with paints.

Mary mfh

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Mary,

I wish I could wrap my arms around you and somehow bring you comfort and fill that void that is inside of you...but alas, we know there is no way to do that. Your speaking of the first snowfall reminds me of my George, for he loved everything about life and all of it's changing seasons...I remember our first winter together, and the first time it snowed...he ran outside and made "a snow angel". I have never seen a grown man do that! He always brought a smile to my face with his zest for life. I miss that. I am the realist in the relationship, the one that rained on the parade...I see snow and think about how hard it is to drive in and keep up with the shoveling...he saw snow and he saw the wonder and beauty of it all, sitting by the fire, watching the flakes come down. I miss my dreamer, my adventurer...

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Oh how I miss the snow, I probably wasnt made for life in Phoenix! just got back from a walk maybe just over 1/2 mile.......got to pace myself.......the weather is crisp for here, I live ouside of Phoenix so is a little higher in elevation from Phoenix and a couple of degrees cooler, cried for part of the way.....until I saw my outside cat "12 toes" a Polydactal cat, was following me like a dog.......made me laugh......guess she was making sure I was ok.......Mike had only been in snow 1 weekend in his life and was planning on taking him to my cabin in the northern part of az for some snow, we never got to do that.......guess he probably is checking out the snow up there now! Sure love how peacefull, crisp and clean snow feels.......until I drive in it! Please be carefull out there! Dave

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It has been snowing since early morning. The plows are really out as it is slush on the streets and they do not want it to freeze. It is very slick and the sirens just went off so someone is in a ditch most likely. It was a rough morning....change of seasons is difficult. A lot of tears and even some wailing released some pain.....and now i am starting the December issue of my publication....Voice of the River Valley....a good distraction.

Dave, is it snowing in Flagstaff yet? I remember being in Sedona, Phoenix, Flagstaff areas for about 3 months in 2000 waiting for our RV to be delivered. Loved it but it was mighty hot....summer months.

Mary

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Yes it is snowing in the high country, my cabin is up on the northeast side of the state near Showlow, Az is an interesting state, Phoenix area is not for me but the high country is totally different then here, crazy, Mike and I enjoyed our time up there the previous summer but this past summer didnt have the energy to get up there.......now dont have the energy to drive in the snow up there, maybe someday....Dave

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Bill and I spent 4 years in Ouray CO at 8,500 feet.....lots and lots of snow! But it never lasted on the roads.....still coming down here. I am working on my publication....good day for that. mfh

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Ouray is beautifull! 8,500 ft, man 7,000 makes me tired! Trying to paint that picket fence what a chore, figure I need to pace my self a section at a time, trying to finish before Thanksgiving, thinking about family and friends here for turkey day......one catch have never fixed Thanksgiving dinner.....huh, guess I just want to show off the paint job............probably an easier way......Dave

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We hiked up to 11,500 and came down in the snow on Labor Day....Yes, we need to pace ourselves esp me at age 71+. :)

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Mary,

I wish I could wrap my arms around you and somehow bring you comfort and fill that void that is inside of you...but alas, we know there is no way to do that. Your speaking of the first snowfall reminds me of my George, for he loved everything about life and all of it's changing seasons...I remember our first winter together, and the first time it snowed...he ran outside and made "a snow angel". I have never seen a grown man do that! He always brought a smile to my face with his zest for life. I miss that. I am the realist in the relationship, the one that rained on the parade...I see snow and think about how hard it is to drive in and keep up with the shoveling...he saw snow and he saw the wonder and beauty of it all, sitting by the fire, watching the flakes come down. I miss my dreamer, my adventurer...

Kay, Thank you...It sounds like you had a free spirit....what a great teacher. It has stopped snowing here and though the ground is covered the snow is really wet and heavy. I am so glad you had someone to put a smile on your face and who made snow angels. I don't think I know any one who does that but it is fun. :) Mary

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To keep in mind during the holidays when we are around family and friends who may or may not get what we are about:

From Stepping Through Grief on Facebook

‎"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself" ~ Anna Quindlen

Let the expectations of others brush past you easily and allow yourself to be you in your grief, in your healing and in your life. The worst has happened, there is nothing else that could batter you so...so let that be your infinite strength.

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Dear Mary,

Being born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, I know snow. When I was just a young kid going to school, by 2 older brothers would have to walk in front of me up to the bus stop, because the snow was so deep it was over my waist sometimes chest deep. It would be nothing to get 2-4 feet of snow. In the summer we would hike up to the high mountains lakes to fish for the brook trout, and in the middle of August, we would wake up to our tents be covered in frost inside and out, and the lake could have a skim of thin ice. Those were the days. Now I deal with the snow, not because I want to but I have to. The snow is very different here. It is a lot wetter and heavier, than we would get in Colorado. I used to ski, from when I was about 9 years old. I loved it, I am trained to ski in after an avalanche and find people who where trap under the snow. That was very intense training, and very eerie, to ski in after and look for the lost, always hoping we would find them before, they would run out of air, and the life would drain out of them. Sometimes we could bring them back, and also we could not, we would find them to late or, they suffered live ending injuries. I can see in my mind the very first time I skied onto the avalanche field, and start the search for 3 skiers. It was always those who skied outside park area and would get into trouble, even though signs were posted all over. I still have my pin we got after the training. See even way back then I always tried to help others in need.

Mary, Bills arms are around you, all the time, like Pauline is here with me, I feel her presents so strong everywhere I go. So is Bill, just let your mind, go, and open your soul to his, they are just on a different plain that we cannot see. If you cannot feel his feel mine, as I reach out for you and comfort you with my warmth, telling you everything will be okay. I love that you are painting and doing something that makes you feel good in our new life.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Yes, Dwayne...I remember too well the 4 foot snowfalls. I remember going up to the high country in a jeep in July and watching the bulldozers (guided by radio communication from a helicopter above them so they would not fall over the edges) clear the hundreds of feet of snow off the so called roads. The road between Ouray and Silverton had many avalanche slides on it in the 25 mile trip....and many people would snowmobile and ski outside the areas allowed and of course start an avalanche.

Thank you for your kind words. When do you next hear about school?

Yesterday was one of those days. They come frequently. Seeing my grief counselor today. It always helps just to talk freely.

Mary

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Wow Mary Thanks for posting that saying from Anna Quindlen.........almost like she said it just for me, and at the right time........and for me it just doesnt speak for the holidays, but for yr round.......powerfull thought for me to start the day! Dave ps I looked on grief on facebook where do you find these sayings? Thks!

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Dave, Marty has it right. You can like those pages on FB.

Here is another: Transcending Loss https://www.facebook.com/transcendingloss

and another: https://www.facebook.com/grieflossrecovery

and another: https://www.facebook.com/soaringspirits

If you scan through the photos...and quotes you will find some good shots and quotes.

Mary

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Dear Mary,

I called my counselor yesterday around 4 in the afternoon. Now the day before the director said he was going to fund more applications on Thursday, but for some reason, he did not do any. So now my counselor does not know when it will happen again. So I wait patiently until it does.

I started doing a handy man job yesterday, for Donna's Mother. She is 93 and owns a 3 tenantment house. The second floor was where her grand daughter was living with her boy friend, and she was on about 20 different Medications from the same Doctor for the same problem, depression. All those Med's she became toxic in the brain and went into a coma for almost a week, she was lucky to survive. She is in a hospital now getting help, so they want me to get the apartment, redone and ready for her return. It is a mess. The boy friend punched holes in the walls, and the carpet needs taken up. A lot of work.

Then when I was on my way home a mini van was in front of me and the driver was not paying attention, and all of a sudden it swerved to the right and there was this small car waiting to make a left turn. I was only going about 30-35 MPR. I hit my brakes and it was raining all day so the roads were wet and when I hit the brake I start red to stop, the then peddle want to the floor. I blew a brake line. I jumped on to the E-Brake and got stopped about 15 feet from the car. So to day I have to take my van to get it fixed. I just hope it doesn't coast to much.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Gee, here they don't drive 15 feet away from cars, they stop within a foot! LOL...not as bad as NY though, ha! There they test their brakes out on each others' bumpers!

Speaking of snow, I'm supposed to get some tonight and for the next few days...unlike some of you I dread it. It may be beautiful but I haven't gotten over the stress of the heavy winter snows last year yet...for me it represents shoveling and driving hazards. I love living in the mountains but to me, this is the down side of it. I do have to admit though, it's gorgeous. This is where I live!

post-914-13210255925_thumb.jpg

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Hello Everyone,

KayC, that is a beautiful picture so peaceful, but I sure understand what you mean about the hazards and extra work it puts on those who live in those conditions, I used to live in Ohio and it's not as bad as in the mountains but we had our fair share of snow and ice, Ruth on the other hand was raised in the hills and mountains of Kentucky, we visited several times and although beautiful we chose to live in Florida where we just had to put more clothes on when it got cold and shuffle to protect our delicate plants...

---

The Holidays are approaching and I also feel the "tide" changing if you will in the emotions, I have been somewhat teary eyed the past week seeing all the Holiday decorations and the new pieces they have came out with this year, the first thought in my head is Ruth would have enjoyed this so much and we would have had so much fun buying pieces and adding them to our village...I intend on decorating my new house this year complete with a small version of our village under the tree built with her favorite pieces, even though I'm leaving the day after Christmas for a weeks vacation with Brenda a new tradition her and I started last year that's our special time and a time for us to share and be away from the rest of the world as we know it to just relax, enjoy waking to the sounds of the waves rushing in on the beach and not having an agenda or deadlines to meet...but even as our lives continue and we have found a new love we both have days that we speak and reflect of the times we had with our spouses never taking away any of the special memories and with no hesitation in shedding a tear if need be...to all my fellow friends in grief I wish you all a smooth journey during these days approaching and hope somehow you may find even an ounce of comfort...

---- the weather here today is 57 degrees for the high and tonight reaching into high 40's, time for the small space heaters... :)

NATS

Now that I am gone,

remember me with smiles and laughter.

And if you need to cry,

cry with your brother or sister

who walks in grief beside you.

And when you need me,

put your arms around anyone

and give to them what you need to give to me.

There are so many who need so much.

I want to leave you something --

something much better than words or sounds.

Look for me in the people I've known

or helped in some special way.

Let me live in your heart

as well as in your mind.

You can love me most

by letting your love reach out to our loved ones,

by embracing them and living in their love.

Love does not die, people do.

So, when all that's left of me is love,

give me away as best you can.

-- Author unknown

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Every day-every moment- is a lesson. As my new art studio/meditation room is being completed, I see again how raw I am. Bill would be so happy to see me have this space. I would be so happy to share all this with him-the planning, the painting, the fire. Workmen are buzzing around interrupting 18 months of silence. I will probably miss these guys when they leave...Tears flow on and off amidst the gratitude and fun of having a studio. The friend who is paying the entire bill for this huge overwhelming gift keeps telling me to "get over it", i.e. the size of the gift. She lost her mom and brother 4 days apart just months before Bill died....and grieves also. As I picked out flooring, doors, gas stove, paint colors and more a sense of yes, loneliness of doing it alone and not sharing the fun... filled my being. As I picture myself sitting out there to meditate or watch the fire or...of course... paint...I feel the sadness and keep trying to just focus on the fun of it...life is bittersweet for sure. This space is one that Bill just cut through to go to the back yard or garage....we never got a chance to do anything with it...nor did we have the kind of money this friend is spending....In the meantime, hammers are pounding, electrician is running wires, stove guy checking the gas line (do not want a wood fire where I paint and i am too old to lug wood though it is my preference to hear a crackling fire and smell the wood burn). In the meantime I am on deadline in an hour....waiting for the last minute stragglers who never change. Bittersweet days. But I pride myself on allowing this change to take place and the committment to painting and my spiritual world that it implies.

It is no wonder grieving is so so exhausting....all this and so much more going on inside of all of us all day every day.

Peace,

Mary mfh

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Mary, I am new here but I just wanted to let you know you are loved and understood by everyone of us. I lost my husband last year on February 8th. I'm still so lonely and depressed most of the time. I force myself to go out and even walk thru Walmart some days....maybe buy a book or something. Once in awhile I have lunch with a friend but most of them don't have the money to eat out so I go myself.

Yes, I used to love Christmas and now it seems like just another day to get thru. I've read many books about grief and been to grief counseling but it's still there...the hurt, loss and everything else that goes along with this hideous thing.

God bless you, Mary. Keep looking up.

blw321

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Mary:

The room sounds wonderful and so peaceful. I wish I was there to enjoy it with you. May it be all you want it to be and more. I got through Randy's birthday on Sunday well. I kept busy. I went on a motorcycle run for Toys for Tots. 268 motorcycle riders buy toys for children and actually have a parade to get them all to one location for the holidays. The toys are brought to the location on the backs of the motorcycles. I went with a friend that lost his wife in July. We had a huge teddy bear on the back of the motorcycle. I felt like I was at least doing something good for Randy's birthday. I then came home and made his favorite carrot cake. His family is all spread out so we declared it "Carrot Cake Day" and we all made carrot cakes. I have distributed mine to all the neighborhood as I can't eat it all. Once again, it was delicious even if I am propping myself up. The day was good and the anticipation of it was much worst than the actual day.

Hugs to you

Becky

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blw321, Your husband died about 6 weeks before Bill. I also feel so lonely and sad. I go out, sometimes too much which is slowly changing as the hermit in me balances it. Yes, I have walked the mall just to be out. I used to love Christmas and how, I agree, it is survival mode from now until January and then that is Bill's birthday...I have read about 35-40 books on grief and life after life...done the grief counseling and the hurt and loss and loneliness and sadness go on....of course they do...he was part of me, the love of my life....half my life was spent with him as the key person, I will always miss him. Thanks for your kind words and welcome aboard and I am so sorry about your loss. Somehow we will eventually find some peace and make our lives meaningful at the very least.

Mary mfh

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Hi Becky, Good for you with the motorcycles. Bill and I biked for a while (Hondas). It does help us and others to get into other people's pain. I do a lot of that but more on a one on one basis. I will enjoy this room and long to share it with Bill. I wish I knew if those who die can know what is going on here. I do believe he is with me but the mystery of it all is, of course, beyond me. Peace to your heart, Mary mfh

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