Embrace

“Embrace” is my word for 2014.  It seemed perfect since I have so many new situations to embrace in my life.  In the last three years I have participated (using that word very loosely) in Ali Edwards’ One Little Word.  I was always faithful for at least the first month, as you can see here, and here, and here.  Nothing up yet for 2014 — I can’t seem to get going on it.  And of course, the Focus on Life challenge which I did last week, now a minimal color self photo.   And various other things for which I have signed up — life goes on.  Or so they say.

me blog

Ten days.  People expect you to grieve for ten days.  People call, visit and bring food for ten days.  I think of myself as a strong person, and I think most people I know think of me that way too.  Sure I can understand the confused and disoriented widows that I see in my accounting practice — their husband took care of everything and they have never been alone.  Me?  I’ve lived alone, and enjoy the quiet solitude.  There is very little around the house that I can’t do or find someone to do.  I knew our finances; I did our tax return.  No problem.

I planned a visitation and funeral.  I wrote thank you notes.  I set everything necessary in motion for an estate.  I sorted, tossed, filed, donated, stored — from early morning until I collapsed at night.  I traveled to south FL to visit with his elderly father.  Sure there were a few quirky things that I struggled to do.  But slowly, I marked them off my list.  After all, it’s been almost three months.  Connie is fine — she’s strong.  Not taking new clients, and even letting go of a few was my plan to make up for me maybe not being quite up to par.

This week, I discovered — Connie isn’t fine.  My dear, dear friend — my college roommate, wrote me a note talking about grief since she had experienced the sudden and unexpected death of her brother years ago.  She said she read everything she could on grief.  I, who buys a book about anything that comes to mind, had never thought to get a book.  Maybe I don’t know anything about grief and should read a bit.

As I read and cried, I saw myself in the book.  My exhaustion which no amount of sleep overcomes.  My exhaustion which had made me think that swift death is surely on my heels too.  The scenarios that go through my mind — if he had called, if he had stayed home, I know I could have saved him.  He would have had more years; we could have done the things we had planned.  My inability to multi-task  How easily I am overwhelmed with things that once were mere irritations.  Simply put, I’m not fine.

Grief isn’t something that one decides whether or not to do, I’ve learned.  There is no time limit.  Embrace is after all the perfect word for 2014.  And the first thing that I need to embrace is grief.  In time, I hope to embrace much more, but for now, I’m going to be gentle (this is tough for me) and give myself time to heal.

Focus on Life

I’m starting the new year with a year long weekly photograph challenge called Focus on Life and hosted by Sally Russick.  Focus on Life is certainly what I need this year in more ways than just photographs.  This week’s challenge is:  The minimalist photograph – capture an image using a single subject.

I couldn’t decide between my two, so I’m posting them both.  Ironic that in a challenge titled Focus on Life, my actual focus is on death.  Which do you like best?

watch blog

The Watch? or

rose blog

The Rose?