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.