Since my grief counseling session last week, I have been doing much better. I have felt more like I am emerging out of a dark fog that has been prevalent since January 14.
The good news is I went to Walmart by myself today and I didn't have a panic attack. (Going into stores or being around a lot of people has been triggering the anxiety attacks. I've been a Young Women's President twice, and I teach regular violin group lessons to dozens of kids each month, but I haven't been able to walk into a grocery store without feeling like I can't breathe or function? Pathetic, I know.) Baby steps...
I talked to Tim on the phone for a good 40 minutes yesterday. I miss that man and his beautiful wife. But it is healing to keep in touch with their family. I hope I didn't tire him out with all my questions and memories. He's trying so hard to pick up the pieces.
Julie and I sent off a Valentine's Care Package to Tim and the kids yesterday. We sure love them. And since Chrishel isn't here to help me cook our men our annual steak and shrimp candlelight dinner, we're sending a bit of Idaho love to them. I find comfort spending so much time with Julie since we got back from Utah. I cling to her because she understands my pain. And I understand hers.
Today has been kind of rough. I dreamed about Chrishel again last night. But not the good kind. It's the one where we're still in the hospital. Waiting, weeping, and hoping. I remember the callouses on her heels and the remnants of silver sparkly toe nail polish on her toes. (I spent a good deal of time rubbing her petite feet. I tried to memorize all the details of her physical body.) I miss her so much. I can't even imagine how intense this ordeal is for Tim.
As I was driving home from the store today, the Phil Collins song, "You'll Be in My Heart" came on the radio. This made me nostalgic for her. The lyrics to this song were printed on the back of her funeral program. It was the lullaby Chrishel would sing to Sierra every night. So tender:)
Tonight I spent most of the evening rereading old texts from her, as well as going through pictures of happier times. I don't want to forget. I wish I could talk to her one more time. I wish I had done more. I wish, I wish, I wish...
And then my sweet next door neighbor sent over a plate of the most delicious, warm chocolate chip cookies and it reminded me that I have other good people in my corner. I can do this. I will keep going. I have so much to be thankful for.
When I met with Bro. H for my grief therapy session last week, I told him that when I start to feel joy, it is immediately shut down by this feeling of grief and guilt. He assured me that was very normal. "The survivors often feel disloyal if they start to move forward in their lives when their loved ones have died. Frankly, I'd be worried if you didn't feel this way. It simply means you love her."
"What about the fact that I wear my Bryce Canyon sweatshirt over and over and over? That's not normal, is it?"
"You'll know when it starts to stink. Give yourself some slack. It's kinda like a child and a teddy bear. If it's providing some tie to her and comfort to you, let it serve it's purpose."
We talked about a lot of concerns I have had, but the $85 bottom line, according to him, is this:
I'm supposed to give myself permission to grieve. That means allow myself to fully feel all the feelings that accompany this tragic death. Let myself cry when I need to, let myself wear that sweatshirt one more week, and embrace the tender feelings of mourning someone so brilliant. Because if we place restrictions on our grief, it will ooze out in unhealthy ways later on. Exercise, sleep well, and share memories... Take the grieving one day at a time.
courage for the week 10.15.17
3 days ago