I've once again been neglecting the blog to focus on other projects, and work. I set this up to allow myself space to express my thoughts and feelings. It doesn't always work. When it isn't working I try to walk away for a time. I also walk away when something else 'shiny' catches my attention. As a result, I've been spending most of my evenings in the garage building a table for some friends. I will have a post up about it soon, once the table is closer to completion.
The issue with staying busy is that things sneak up on you, surprise you, hit harder. I have spent the past several days running away from my feelings. It's been very productive. I cleaned the house for the first time in a while, I washed the dogs, I washed three cars. I changed the oil and transmission fluid on the Mercury. I cooked dinner a few nights in a row instead of just eating cereal. I did the shopping. I lived my life for a few days. I did not take any time to sit and think about the state of things.
I read an interview with Patton Oswalt, the comedian, earlier this fall. Patton lost his wife about three weeks before we lost Melissa. In the interview he talks about how grief is an ambush, an attack on your ambitions, that it stands there and say "the minute you try something, I'm waiting for you". That has been the best description of what this feels like that I have yet read. It is a description that is in my head most days, when I feel myself getting too ambitious. What he doesn't say, because I only just found out about it myself, is that the way you defeat this bully is getting out there and doing those things in the face of your grief. The grief maybe out there waiting for you to try, but the act of trying is how you defeat it. Even if you fail, especially if you fail, you win by going again.
The only flaw in my new found equation is that you to need to occasionally hit pause and deal directly with the grief. That is the problem with staying busy. You can only ignore it for so long. You can tread water by doing the daily chores, but unless you really open it up and go deep with your feelings, sooner or later the grief is going to lay you flat out. I have a friend that equates it to racking up credit card debt. You can 'stay busy' by making the minimum interest payments, but, sooner or later, if you keep ignoring the balance you are going to drown.
I know that there is a reckoning coming. I can sense it in the periphery. Waiting for me to try something too ambitious. When it comes I will deal with it. I will then get back up and continue on, because that is what we do. This has been the worst thing I have ever experienced, but each setback is a little less intense than the last one. I have to tell myself that it is ok to have a good day, that the bad days have been outnumbering the good and it is time to right the scales.