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Waiting for the Wake-Up Call
By Darcie Sims (published in Bereaved Magazine)
I’m waiting for the wake-up call that surely must come someday on this journey through grief. When will it get better?!! I’m waiting for the day when the memories are softer, the step a little lighter, and when the sounds in my heart aren’t always those of sadness. I’m waiting for the music to return, for the light to shine, for the magic to come back. I’m waiting for the pain to stop, the hurt to leave, and for everything to go back to its original place. I want the picture to look the same as before, and I’m waiting until it does.
But, while I’m waiting, I’m learning a lot. I know I have to make lists now in order to capture my chores and things I have to do. I gave up trying to remember and now just carry a notepad with me (with a pencil attached!). I have set the clocks ten minutes fast so I have a better chance of being on time, and I have stocked the car with maps of every place I need to be.
I make menus and create shopping lists. I plan ahead, write down everything, and then don’t worry when I lose the list, get lost, or simply change my mind. I think most people thought I was always confused, so now I don’t worry so much about not remembering.
I’m taking advantage of being bereaved and am learning to work with the lack of concentration, the forgetfulness, the confusion. If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist, and I’ve been much happier ever since!
If the weather and the seasons can’t get it together, why should I try to coordinate an outfit? I’ll just wear what’s comfortable for the moment and worry less about what others think. Maybe they are as confused as I am. Maybe they’re struggling, too. Maybe we should all stop, look, and listen … trying to remember to hold hands when crossing the street and practice hugging instead of hitting.
Maybe just relaxing into the craziness and letting the tides ebb and flow across the beach will work better than trying to direct the winds that change rides on. Perhaps letting the sun warm my winter-weary bones is a more productive activity than rearranging the closet, and maybe the good memories will come back if I let them.
Maybe spring reflects nature’s inability to make up its mind, or maybe that hesitation to change is more of Mother Nature’s mourning the passing of the winter season. Maybe it’s hot one day and cold the next to keep us on our toes, to keep the blood flowing, the legs moving. Maybe shoveling snow one day and planting seeds the next is what we are supposed to be doing … maybe spring is the season of change, and we should let go of the whys? and work on the hows?. Maybe pushing the plow is better than trying to pull it.
Maybe spring is the reason for getting up … to simply see what is possible today. Maybe today is the day, and if I’m in bed, I’ll miss the beginning, and I’ll still be lost.
Maybe I’m already in the middle of change, and maybe I will always be confused, lost, and slightly off balance. But, maybe that’s okay, and I’ll just have to figure out how? instead of why? And when that happens, I know I won’t be lost anymore! It really doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Friday (unless one of those days is garbage day, and then it does matter!). Maybe I can let go of the time frames and calendar pages that dictate my life and my emotions, and let life simply flow.
Perhaps you and I have already answered the wake-up call. Don’t let a poor yesterday or an uncertain tomorrow use up today. I think this is it, and now is the time for being all I can be. Half of me is still in winter and I am dyeing eggs. All of me is still perhaps a bit off balance, but I am alive, and that’s a start! This wasn’t the life I expected to live, but it is the only one I’ve got.
If I’m lost, I’ll explore wherever it is I am. If I’m late, I’ll just apologize and enjoy the time I have left. If I’m out of place, out of style, out of sync, I’ll just keep dancing to the tune I hear and let the rest of the world figure out their own melody…
- Darcie Sims was a bereaved parent, psychotherapist, grief management specialist, nationally recognized grief expert, and author.