I’ve Been Stuck

I’ve been stuck lately.  I’ve not know what to say – to write – how to articulate / process what has happened.  Of course, rather than simply write and process through my emotions, I’ve avoided this blog.  Finally, today, I saw my therapist.  My emotions came through like a flood-gate.  It felt to good to finally let it all go… not to say that more isn’t coming, but at least I purged just a bit to be able to manage.

I knew something was wrong this morning during fitness with Vandie.

“Are you okay, Stacey?” asked Laura, my fellow labourer in step-class.  Between she and I we can keep Vandie believing that we can keep up.  In reality, it takes two of us to make a full fitness participant and these days, Laura is out-pacing me 5:1!

“I’m okay.  I’m just exhausted.”

Normally, I can push through the fatigue, the pain, the shortness of breath.  (Remember, it’s a fitness class so I’m supposed to be out of breath) This morning, I just couldn’t bring myself to “give ‘er”.  I had lost my grit.  I didn’t want to carry on.  I just wanted to sit down and cry.  I knew I was grieving.  For fuck’s sake – I just lost a dear friend of 30 years.  Why shouldn’t I be tired?  But – it is not forth-coming to put two and two together when one is grieving.  It’s like “rules don’t apply”.  You know what I mean?  I couldn’t see the forest for the trees… and so on.  I was never so happy when the cardio stopped and we took to the floor routine where I could hide my lack of interest in carrying on.  My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my feet hurt – my heart hurt.

“Stacey, are you sure you are okay?”  Laura asked again.

“I’m not okay – but I will be.”

“Yes.  You will be – because you know tomorrow is a new day.  You’ve been through this feeling before.”

And I had.  In truth – I’ve lost both parents.  I’ve lost many body parts to cancer.  I’ve lost my health virginity per se – if that’s a thing.  I’ve lost confidence in my body.  I’ve lost control over so many things… and now I’ve lost my Thelma.  My friend.  Of 30 years.  My mentor.  My rock.

It wasn’t all down hill today, though.  I got up from the floor routine (amazing, eh?) and made it to my therapy appointment at RVH to see “my” Kelly.  I am so very lucky that she is mine – I trust her.  I don’t feel judged.  She has tissue ready for me.  She is kind.  She listens.  Thelma would have really liked her.  So – I talked – I gushed – I cried – I laughed.  Then – I booked another appointment in another two weeks.

“Thelma grounded me,” I explained to Kelly.  She knew what to say to make things better.  She knew when to listen – and how to listen.  I had no idea there could be so many ways.. until her ear was gone.  Not only her ear – her heart – her marvelous mind – and part of me went with her.

“I am so lucky to have been part of her family – her family – we were more than friends.  I promised her I’d be there to help her stay in her own home as she aged.  I promised her I’d be there with her as she fought cancer.  I promised her I’d be there for her always.  I promised her I’d do whatever I could for her family – and I made good on those promises. I really did.  I have no regrets.  I do have, however, a hole in my life which I hadn’t realized was so big. It is so big – I couldn’t see around it – I still can’t.

I can only imagine that my own Mother had a big hug waiting for her when Thelma “moved on”.   I sometimes imagine the conversations they would have about family, and about life.  Thelma would have talked about dogs – but my Mom would not have connected too much on that front.  Grin.

I’m still processing.

“I’m further from death than I have been for a long time, Kelly,” I explained.

“I feel it in the way you talk, Stacey,” she replied.  “You said your Dad confessed that he thought he had figured out his purpose on Earth before he passed away.  You said he mentioned his purpose was to make people happy.  Let me ask you – do you know your purpose?”

I thought about it – my mind went blank.  What is my purpose?  It’s not like I haven’t thought about it before.  I know I like to help people.  Is that it?  Maybe.

“I’ll have to take some time to ponder that, Kelly,” I replied.  “Yes, I ‘ll give it some thought.”

I felt no pressure when I walked out of her office.  The anxiety had somewhat dissipated.  It wasn’t gone.  It wouldn’t be gone for a while – I am grieving.  But – I felt lighter.  I was definitely feeling lighter than when I entered her room – emotionally.  And that was a step in the right direction.  The dam had burst.  It wasn’t pretty.  I’m sure there was emotional shrapnel all over Kelly’s office after I left.  But I felt better.  I hoped I hadn’t damaged her… my words had been like bullets fired from an automatic rifle.  (Why these analogies of war?)

Now – time to see what burst from the dam and rebuild.  One piece at a time.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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19 Responses to I’ve Been Stuck

  1. Gwen says:

    oh, my dear friend, my heart aches for you. I know you will rebuild (you have the skill as I’ve seen many times) but the hole is still gaping and raw. I’m so happy that you have “your Kelly” to be a sounding board for you. I’m sure she stepped sure-footedly through your emotional shrapnel and knows how to clean it up. (Always a mom, eh, gotta look for ways to clean). Know there are many of us who will help hold the pieces in place as you rebuild. The blessings of Thelma in your life were certainly reflected right back in her life. HUGS to you.

    • inmycorner says:

      Thank you , Gwen, as always for your eloquence of words. I know you and I have seen some trials in our lives and have re-build. This is possible. But – it really does suck! Thanks for your vote of confidence – looking forward to spending some time with you this summer!
      Hugs to you too!

  2. My sympathies. Will say a prayer for you and your family, Stacey.

  3. Judy says:

    My best friend died almost 20 years ago and I still miss her – I think of her almost every day. Thelma is a part of you now. You’ll continue to hear her voice and wonder what she’d tell you. Maybe not even wonder. If you listen, you’ll hear her.
    I’m so sorry, Stacey. It’s beautiful that you were able to write your feelings like this.

    • inmycorner says:

      Right? I hope I can hear her wisdom too! I most certainly have not done her justice in anything I’ve written yet — hope that will come as I heal. And thanks for your care and compassion – go and enjoy your trip!!!!!!!

      • Judy says:

        Of course, you will! I’m enjoying my trip and very aware that your grief has only just begun. I’m here for you anytime, Stacey!

  4. Jan Duff says:

    Oh Stacey…. I want to give you a great big hug, my dear.

    Remember, Stacey….it only hurts this profoundly when we have loved deeply. And aren’t we lucky to have had such love in our lives! So many people never know the love of wonderful, caring parents; of the deep and abiding love of a committed partner; of the ongoing love of and for children that deepens with time, and the love that one finds all too rarely with good friends, where time and distance can’t diminish the bonds.

    And you, my dear, dear Stacey, are hurting so much because you give so much love and caring to others.

    It’s a trite old adage that says it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’. But it hurts.

    I love you, Kid.


    -and keep on writing!


    • inmycorner says:

      Jan – we ARE lucky. You and I have been down this road before – and agreed the grief sucks, but that is the price one pays for really loving. I am fortunate to have such wonderful people in my life – including you. Need that hug soon! You home yet? I love you too!

  5. my heart goes out to you Stacey. Grief temporarily cripples us… Blessings

    • inmycorner says:

      That’s it, Maureen – stuck, crippled, – and temporary… knowing Thelma has been worth every iota of grief. She was a wonderful person and wonderful friend. Thanks, Maureen.

  6. Stacey, while I was reading this I was feeling so sad. But at one point, and I won’t tell you where, I got such a joyful (yes joyful!) feeling of lightness. I think, because in reading of the grief of your loss, I also felt the joy and power of your love. What a send off for Thelma. To be this loved and this missed. I truly believe our love and grief, laughter and sobbing, for the memories and the loss, send our loved ones to eternity. It’s our fanfair for them. Our bridge building, so to speak, for them. I think that’s ‘why’ I got the feeling. Thank you for sharing Thelma and your grief with us. I pray for your comfort.

    • inmycorner says:

      Colleen – I simply love so much the way you flip the sad to glad, or in this case, joy. And I agree – I was carrying around the grief until yesterday – didn’t want to express it for fear of infringing on her family’s privacy. But – realized it was my grief, then my joy – one Thelma and I shared. If it is true that these explosions of emotions are fanfare – then she had one hell of a send-off. You are right! what a beautiful thought you have left for me. She would have been so pleased that you gave me this emotional bridge/ rainbow upon which to walk.

  7. karen markovic says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Your so brave and courageous to be able to express your inner most feelings and thoughts. It takes a great deal of character to be able to be the real and genuine you in this world. Hugs to you always!

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