I have not written in a couple of days. It seems that I just ran out of time. Often I will start writing my blog post at 10:30pm and push to publish it before midnight. But I just couldn’t do it the last few nights. And so that made me think of the concept of TIME.
Several people have asked me “What do you do with your time?” The nest is empty, I am not currently working outside the home, and it can appear that I have nothing to do. This is one of the hardest things to explain about grief. It absorbs time. It does not matter whether I am at home, running errands, or with friends. Grief is a constant companion. And Grief is selfish. It constantly fights for your full attention. And that is tiresome. It has almost been a year since Mike passed away and my energy levels are higher. But I still get worn down. And when I start to feel those waves of emotion, memories, or fatigue, it is a sign that I need to slow down and give myself some grace. And that takes TIME.
It takes TIME for me to get on track in the mornings. To get the tone set for the day.
It takes TIME for me to write down my list of things I need to do and then to prioritize them. And yes, sometimes my list includes things like “take a shower”, “make calls for job inquiries”, “work on the volleyball club website”, “contact IRS” – AGAIN – , etc. Almost every task I take on requires multiple steps due to bureaucracy or tracing Mike’s steps to find something I need. It all takes TIME.
I am sure to spend some TIME with people most days. In person. Even on those days when I’d rather not be social. It is a commitment I made with myself very early on. It is not easy. It is a discipline. Sometimes, I realize it is a mistake to be with others in that moment. I have a hard time being present. But most times it is just what I need. Even if it is for an hour. But I never really know how much time is going to be enough. It sure would make things easier if I did.
I am extremely grateful I have had the gift of TIME this past year. I believe strongly that I need to process loss when it hits – to the fullest extent I am able to right now. In doing so, I am able to move forward into the new life that is unfolding before me. I know from past experience that if I avoid and bury the hard memories, they will haunt me into the future. And I do not want to waste one moment dragging junk around with me. I learned that by actively working through grief, eventually the hard memories start to fade and as they do, the good memories come more into focus. But I also know that I cannot force it and I have to be patient in dealing with things as they naturally arise. In short, grief takes time.
And today I am thankful today that I have the gift of time.
“I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” John 10:10b