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Although this was supposed to be the third day I wanted to be on my own before I start receiving, yet this did not happen. My first visitors came around 12.30. A couple of my neighbors came to pay their condolences after calling and asking if they could come in. I was too embarrassed to put them off so agreed. Had I known how things would turn out, I would have agreed to such visits from day one. Beautiful, kind, sensitive ladies, who understood exactly what I needed, and gave it to me. Although it was a visit to pay condolences, it turned out to be one that was very entertaining. They took me out of my sad world and took me to theirs. One of them has a terrific sense of humor and actually had me laughing a couple of times. Now I understand the reason behind those long, long days of people streaming into the house ostensibly to pay condolences, but really to take the bereaved out of their whirlpool of grief. The first few weeks are supposed to be the hardest, where the wound is still very raw, and the best way to get through it is to put up a buffer. I did not understand this. I thought I needed to be alone. I was wrong. People, lovely, sensitive, loving people are a solace. The pain is there, the grief is there, but with people around there is the practical need to get out of yourself and interact with others. I had a practical lesson in that today.
My visitors were there till early afternoon, then another couple of friends came in a few minutes later and stayed till early evening. I barely had time to take a bite before my third visitor showed up and stayed till late in the evening. I am so grateful to each and every one of them, as well as to those who called. Between the telephone calls and the people coming in I think I only cried four or five times, not the continuous wailing I was doing for the past two days. God bless them one and all.
In talking to my visitors this morning I remembered a video clip I had taken of my Mom during her second stay at the hospital. It is a funny clip and she is laughing beautifully in it. I just sent it to my brother and my niece and hope to God it doesn’t upset them. I just thought they might like to have such a clip of her laughing, and a practical recording of her sense of humor.
I am now all alone after everyone has left, but things are not as bad as they were the past two days. I am too tired to even cry. I have taken my nightly sleeping aid of a chilled glass of Chardonnay, and am now winding down and hoping to have a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow is going to be another long day. At least six people told me that they will be coming in to see me. I hope things would be easier as well. I will try to take it one day at a time. I know that Monday I have to go back to the apartment as there is someone coming in for plumbing maintenance. I wonder how will going back to the apartment feel! I hope it won’t be as difficult as coming back to the house had been.
I am not naive to believe that just having people around is going to make the pain go away. I do appreciate that I have a long way to go still. That grief will probably overwhelm me a great many times in the coming few months. I am sure that my feelings of loss, being lost and purposeless will get worse before they get better. In time, and when I could, I will try to restructure my life so that I would not have time on my hands. My worst enemy now is unoccupied time where grief can rage at will. After devoting a large part of my life to taking care of my Mom, now I feel at a lose end and rather purposeless, so have to quickly find something to occupy my time.
Thank God for my circle of friends, they really are my lifeline back. My family as well, my cousins are calling me daily and want to see me on the day I go back to town. All this love is helping me no end. Thank you God for each and every one of them, whether it is through a visit, a call, a post on Facebook, a poem or an inbox message, an invitation to lunch or to a stay in Spain. Genuine care shines through, and God has blessed me with such care and love. How can grief persist in face of such feelings? I hope to God that this searing grief is tempered, if not overcome, by the love all around me. God give me the strength and provide Your means by which You give me solace, be it through family or friends, be it in prayers or through inspiration, Thy will be done.
8 March 2014