Sunday, July 18, 2010

Saturdays, sometimes

I spent almost the entire day, Saturday, on the couch. I blamed it on the steamy heat of the day that kept me from wanting to get out into the garden and be in the blaring sun to weed. I blamed it on the hard bike ride I did with a friend that morning (and to my cycling community - I rode up Mountain, Dutton and Long Hill with my brake pad rubbing, thus effectively riding all these hills with my brakes ON! My friend said with a laugh, "you're awesome!", I said "no, I'm a bonehead!"). But mostly I blamed it on my state of mind.

I knew if Jim were here he would never allow me to spend that time not grabbing life by it's tail ... even one day. He would be calling friends, he would be doing projects around the house, he would do the drive by and stop in on friends. So I, timidly, called a few friends, sent out tiny little white flags in emails, but everyone was busy or away ... I was on my own, and unable to get out of my own way. My state of being these days.

Kay Redfield Jamison in her memoir titled "Nothing Was the Same" is very eloquent in her description of her grief stating "my mind was not right, but it was not deranged. I was able to reason and to imagine that the future held better things. I did not lose my sense of how to navigate the basics of life ... "

And this is how I feel. I always thought that when Jim died I would be in the fetal position with the curtains pulled down, opened and half eaten bean cans littering the kitchen, mail and newspapers piling up on the doorstep and friends coming in to force me to shower, force me to move, force me to live. But this is not my grief. I believe I look and act pretty normal most days. My grief hits in tsunami waves. One minute I'm thinking of something unrelated and the next there is a memory of Jim and the reality of his absence is crippling. As Jamison states "I learned to live in expectation of assault".

I haven't really learned this yet ... but certainly understand what she means.

I have a little something planned today, Sunday, which I'm learning is important to get me out and doing. I'll go watch the annual Yarmouth Clam Festival cylcing race put on by our bike shop, Cyclemania. This year the club - whose owner, and many of the club riders, are good friends - is devoting the race to Jim. They are even giving away one of Jim's photographs to the winner of the "preem" .... the sprints set up in the race. Jim would be absolutely proud and so honored by this. I'm hoping I can keep my eyes dry through all this, but perhaps I need to learn this doesn't matter either.

Stoic is no longer a sign of strength.

Loving you all back,


  1. Hi Mary, I was happy to see you at the Clam Festival Race (well, a picture of you there!)Life is quiet and summery here, if you feel up for a ride over, or a swing by anytime please put us on your short list. We have shade, lawn furniture and almost always a bottle of white chillin'
    xo, Margo

  2. Margo,
    A wonderful invite and one I may just take you up on. The hardest part is, in many ways I want to be rescued but when that phone rings I can't always move to answer it. It's weird and annoys me .... but it's true.

    Hope to see you soon!