Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vacation, vacation!

No new posts for a week or so.

And good golly, that last post was a bit of ramble. Maybe a week away will bring me a little clarity.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

When thoughts gel

it makes me cry. Lately I've been thinking that grief and moving forward are not the whole of what's going on with me. It started with a preview of the next couple chapters. Then, I watched a home show about a woman who is stalled. Her family's epiphany was that she had never recovered from the period in her life when her husband had cancer. She was still living with that frenetic energy and couldn't create peace in her home.

Now, I can empathize but realized today that isn't quite what I'm feeling. Low energy, yes. But, I'm not anticipating with any cheer the end of summer break. Usually by now I'm thinking and planning and shopping and, and, and. Thinking about going back to work makes me cry.

It was a hard and traumatic year in practically every way I think about it. But, it's not undoable to go and do that job again. It feels joyless, though, and I hate it that I can't find joy in something about work. Another part of "oh my gosh I won't be ready" is that I may be over-scheduling myself this summer. I'm not unhappy with anything I've been doing or will do but I seem to need so much more recharge time now.

I need to think about what I do that does recharge me. I need to think about what I can do to make work and personal life less draggy.

Another part of this goes back to the woman in the home show. I don't feel "recovered" or "recovering" from the caregiving aspect of life that is now gone. I don't even know if that's the right feel for what isn't happening. I do know it's separate from grief but related.

I don't think this is the whole of what's gelling but I don't suppose things that gel do so quickly.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Knitting, knitting, knitting.....

I'm on a tear. It's been a good few days of knitting, thinking (nothing gels yet), reading about knitting, catching up with Bones episodes. Three Bones reruns=35 inches of scarf...hehe.

I'm almost done with a 3rd scarf and hat and I made these:

They're acrylic w/a little bit of alpaca. Just warm enough to keep my hands and wrists warm but not too hot. Happy, happy.

I'm going to knit up a few sets for the bell choir fundraiser and for my classroom assistant.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What do I do?

with my emotions, answers the author. Chapter 15 of Experiencing Grief by H. Norman Wright.

I have asked What do I do with all of these changing, at times frustrating, at times overwhelming, and the occasional new feelings. The first piece of advice is to meet them. Look each in the face. I think the point is that denying and bottling feelings is bad and that talking about them helps. I'd revise that to thinking them over helps. If I'm being serious and honest as I read that's what I'm doing. Writing about them keeps me accountable to keep reading and thinking.

For me, this processing of grief has been both an exercise in knowing myself better and knowing God better. I don't often think about my relationship with God in a feeling type of way. Grief has opened that up a bit for me. I'm learning a place and a way to have feelings especially feelings I don't particularly like.

The chapter continues in advice to be open and honest with the people around you about what you're experiencing. Ummm, I don't think so. With some, yes. But in general I don't want to live in grief with the people around me. I don't want to be "the grieving person". I want my grief and sorrow to be a part of who I am, for now, not who I am in the now. I'd prefer that tears not be a big deal but they are and we get past it.

The chapter ends with a jumbled ball of emotions analogy. That was more true in February but I couldn't have read this far then. So, my answer to the jumbled ball of emotions is, "Knit Something".

These are the first two scarf/hat sets I'm finally getting done for the pre-holiday bell choir fundraiser. The first should be finished today. The set from the second photo was finished Monday. If I have the time I can do a hat in about 90 minutes start to finish. A scarf takes 3-5 hours. I might get quicker with the next few. I'm hoping to have 5 sets before school starts.

edited to replace last photo with a better one

Monday, July 20, 2009

I should've known

There would be someone whose comments felt like a roadblock.

I think though that her comments in the end are helpful. She feels that Christians are capable of going through stages of grief quite quickly and moving on to be productive again. At first I was really annoyed because I felt like I shouldn't cry while talking with her. Now that I've sat with it for a couple days I'm realizing that this isn't about that Mom died. It's about that Mom's gone. I know, vague and difficult to parse out. I'm not going to try this evening. Either way it's about how I feel.

I'm not the most comfortable displaying or analyzing my feelings. That's what here is all about. So, I think I'm ok and not annoyed. I do wish there were acceptable crying moments.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Chapter 14 Will the Sadness Ever Go Away?

I've been impatient with this chapter. It starts off with sadness, depression, and despair and proceeds to spend most of the chapter on depression. Sadly for me I know the difference between sadness and depression. Happily for me I'm not in a depression. It took the 3rd read wondering why this chapter wasn't clicking for me to realize how much of the chapter was taken up with depression. I'm sure for some it's very necessary reading.

What I'm taking out of this chapter is the idea of another face of God. It's been covered before in this book and a multitude of lessons before. I have renewed understanding that I can sit with God and be sad. I don't need to be in throes of grief for it to matter. "Be still" doesn't negate emotion it allows me to be in my current state of sadness. "Quiet waters" doesn't mean I am yet quiet. I have a place to be present to find rest in spite of or because of sadness.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This is post number 100. Time flies.

I miss Mom. It's not that I miss the mom who died. The five year old in me misses her mom. I'm sad this week.

And, I'm fearful about losing Dad. At this moment I can't stand the thought of being this sad and going through all this again. I don't know how people who lose both parents in short succession do it. He's already changed and is changing so much.

So here I am. No wonder I'm tired and sleep until 8:30 or 9 every morning. Chapters 12 and 13 talk about guilt, if onlies, and anger. I can't say I've experienced guilt over Mom or any other loved one dying. I have regrets. I'd like to have been present differently for all of them but I don't feel guilty about it. That is how life was at that point. I think I know enough not to live in "if onlies". They don't change anything. They don't help me now. And anger? I haven't touched on any anger but most of the people who have died in the past few years were my "elderlies". Elderly people die. And we're sad.

I can't live in fear and in sadness but I can't deny them either. In true Lori fashion the lesson of the day wrapped up in a hymn. Where can I find happiness and joy and peace? The answer is singing itself in my head. In Thee is Gladness How does the brain do this. How does it pull forward a snatch of melody attached to the perfect words?

That my soul can sing Alleluia when my heart and my voice cannot is something of a miracle to me. Which is bringing other lyrics to mind so I'll not be distracted.

In Thee is gladness, amid all sadness,
Jesus, sunshine of my heart.

By Thee are given the gifts of Heaven,

Thou the true Redeemer art.

Our souls Thou makest, our bonds Thou breakest;

Who trusts Thee surely hath built securely,

And stands forever. Alleluia!

If God be ours, we fear no powers,
Not of earth or sin or death.
God sees and blesses in worst distresses,
And can change them in a breath.
Wherefore the story tell of God’s glory
With heart and voices; all Heaven rejoices,
Singing forever: Alleluia!

text Johann Lindeman, tr. Catherine Winkworth; tune Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi (for those who like knowing things like that.)

And, my current knitting projects. These are "thank you" to a couple who drove my sister and me to the airport. 2nd photo, still not happy.

Ok, grief stuff, flower photo, and current knitting project: 100!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


This little darling was my sister's. It is about 48 years old. The outfit dates at least back to my younger brother making it at the very least 45 or 46 years old. The hat is brand new. I tried a new pattern. I like it but I think I'll make some more modifications.

If you loom knit and wish to give it a try the pattern is here:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Experiencing Grief, Chapter 11

The Invasion of Fear and Anxiety (H. Norman Wright's Experiencing Grief)

I'm back to reading at Chapter 11. At first I didn't think this chapter was going to resonate with me. I don't sense fear about the future as in "what will I do?" For me, it's more will the old routines pre-Mom work for me and if not what will? I do feel some anxiety about not knowing. I'm not at all comfortable about letting the knowing come as it will. At sometimes I feel that my tomorrows may escape me if I'm not planning. At other times I'm completely incapable of conceiving a plan. Both can make me feel anxious. It isn't the fear of going on without Mom that provokes the anxiety but rather the sense of redefining my life.

An idea from this chapter that resonates more is of one loss bringing forward memories of earlier losses. I have a set of 4 others that are somewhat tangled up with grieving Mom's death. Sixteen months before Mom died her sister died. Maybe a year before that another favorite uncle, too. Eight months before Mom died the program I worked in died. Six weeks before Mom died her brother-in-law died. All of these griefs were tamped down and scurried through because Mom still needed me, work still needed me. I didn't understand that I still needed me, too.

The author brings up again, "How do I grieve?" We aren't taught this, it isn't modeled. The intensity of grief is so foreign that I shy away from others' griefs, from my own griefs. I'm working very hard to be present for a friend of mine as she anticipates the loss in the next months to a year of both parents. Other griefs are not so easy to be open to. I pray that someone else will offer the comfort that I cannot today.

The chapter closes by offering the Psalmist as a model for the expression of grief. (Psalm 34:6 and 94:19) I do find solace in God's Word. I'm mildly surprised because before Mom died and for a few months after I couldn't read or hear the Word as it related to grief and comfort. Other topics were and are safe, interesting, and even fascinating.

My seeking of comfort as been purely in prayer until recently. I am reminded constantly of the daily presence of God in my life and throughout my life. I'm taking it as a measure of progress that I can read more and hear more. Yep, still can bring me to a stand still but there is more comfort and peace in my tears. The tears are the same but some are now in gratefulness rather than in grief.

As I'm thinking about this chapter I'm understanding that the fear and grief are a large part of "anticipatory grieving". Mom declined for a long time and I can remember mourning the little losses she went through. Now I'm reminded of Dad and I'm a bit back to "anticipatory grief". He's progressing through dementia and I wonder how long. I'm trying to live in today-where he is-but we'll lose him twice. Once to the dementia and once to death. Those thoughts bring me back to impatience with the process. It hurts and I want it to be finished.

The chapter and my thinking made me think of a choir anthem we did a number of years ago, No More Night, by Walt Harrah:

The timeless theme, earth and heaven will pass away
It's not a dream, God will make all things new that day
Gone is the curse from which I stumbled and fell
Evil is banished to eternal hell

No more night
No more pain
No more tears
Never crying again
And praises to the great I AM
We will live in the light
Of the risen Lamb

See all around, all the nations bow down to see
The only sound is the praises to Christ, our King
Slowly the names from the book are read
I know the king, so there's no need, no need to dread

No more night
No more pain
No more tears
Never crying again
And praises to the great I AM
We will live in the light
Of the risen Lamb

See over there
There's a mansion that's prepared just for me
Where I will live with my savior eternally

And there will be no more night

No more night
No more pain
No more tears
Never crying again
And praises to the great I AM
We will live in the light
Of the risen Lamb

So much better with music. Walt Harrah, songwriter. Word Music LLC Publisher, recorded by various artists.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Note to self: Do NOT do back to back weeks away from home. You need way more recharge time than 20 hours. ;*P

New Mexico was marvelous. I'm sure I'll be going back. The camping trip was ok but I was too exhausted to even try to enjoy myself. I hope I was kind and pleasant. I know I wasn't cranky-more quiet. Hope it came off that way.

Things I liked about camping: being with family, meeting brother's long time friends, good conversations with very nice, sweet people, reading a lot.

Things I did not like about camping: being overtired from not sleeping well in a tent, not being in good enough physical shape to enjoy the area-though that didn't stop me in NM, living on the group's schedule, it really was filthy-a little, ok, dirt in everything-no. Ok, done whining.


I had nearly forgotten to take pictures! This is just before leaving. It's a little fingerling area off the main lake.

This is a few miles down the road on the way out of the mountains.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More vacation

Will be off this week, too. I didn't spend much time ruminating last week. Took the book but did not read one single chapter. There were a few "moments" but it's vacation. I'm not thinking!

A typical view this last week. New Mexico is quite beautiful. I could have stayed at least another week.