Busy, busy, busy.
That is my new motto.
Wake up with a things to do list and don’t stop until it is finished. There is lots to do and I need to get it all done.
I believe that distractions are the key to keeping sadness at bay. If you don’t have time to think about the loss in your life you will not have time to focus on the sadness.
My children have been great to help me with this plan. In less than four months, I have traveled to Boston for a week, Seattle for a week, Phoenix for a week, the beach three times, the mountains one time, Ohio one time and (at the time of writing this) am in Healy, Alaska. I have cleaned, organized, learned new things, visited the sick, written lots of letters, worked puzzles, painted walls and generally stayed busy.
I have found that when my “things to do list” gets done too fast, I have time to think. Having time to think is my enemy. When I am not busy I begin to travel back in time and remember when my husband was alive and when we were having fun and doing things together. I miss him greatly and that leads me directly into sadness.
They say that time is on your side. As time goes forward you will heal. You need time to move so you are further from the loss. I am not sure what the words “closure” and “healing” really mean. But when I am not busy, time stands still. When I am not busy, time drags and the days are long.
I believe that your mind controls your thoughts and your thoughts control your moods and your emotions. So if your mind is focused on your “things to do list”, you do not have time to let your thoughts go to the things that will make your mood get sullen and your emotions become sad.
Others say that you need to process for “closure” and “healing” to take place. But when I think about processing it takes me back to thinking about my loss and thinking about my loss takes me into sadness.
Maybe I am all wrong. Maybe someday I will wake up and find that I have just put it all off. I may see that I have locked everything away in a trunk for another day. I may find that I totally fall apart. Maybe I will someday become a basket case.
But I don’t think so. I have made my peace with God. I have processed the death. I have reviewed my personal thinking about life and death. I have come to terms with my new life. I can talk about my sweet husband without being sad. I can remember our fun life and reflect on the past sometimes without being emotional.
I really believe I am doing OK. But I know that I am better on the days that I am busy, busy, busy. When I was doing grief seminars (yeah, imagine that) I taught all the theoretical concepts of the grieving process. I studied the experts and I, as Dr. Priestino, presented the information as if it were the tried and true.
But if I were to do that today, after I have lived the experience, I would have a different story to tell. I believe you need to process, think, review and then stay very busy to get through it. Yes there is shock, denial, etc. but essentially it is acceptance and stay busy, busy, busy. Thank you God for giving me caring children and good friends that will keep me distracted.