My friend Steve died suddenly. He was driving somewhere, maybe to a hospital, early one morning when a blood clot began to move into his lungs. The blockage caused a heart attack. I’ve been told this sort of thing happens quickly, and that is a mercy.
This was a wretched thing to face, or course, but this post is not about sorrow, it’s about hope.
The reason I’m writing it is to share the verse that appeared on Steve’s funeral bulletin a week later. From John 16:22 it said, “I will see you again and you will rejoice…” The verse continues, “and no one will take your joy from you.”
The context, as you may know, is Jesus speaking to his disciples. I believe it was also meant for us as believers. I have been to several funeral services where the pastor emphasized that we will see and recognize each other in heaven. From this I take heart!
What is it anyway? For me, Work is an activity with purpose that I apply myself to with a good amount of focus and perseverance. Work usually involves service, either to myself or to others. And I find that Work gives meaning to my days, gives me hope and a purpose!
Grieving is also called work sometimes, for good reason. Grieving is a job, it’s a job we can’t put off. If we try to do that, the blues will sneak up on us and sabotage our day. So I have to tend to the grief work. Just like “real” work, we can pace ourselves in grief, so we are not overwhelmed.
All of this writing is part of my grief work. It helps me process my thoughts and feelings and discover that I am growing through it. Every day is not the same. I hope these ideas will help someone else who is struggling.
Here is a delightful idea that helps me. I read somewhere that Play is children’s Work. They learn and grow through it, becoming stronger physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Work can be enjoyable, as we learn from it. Although work is productive, it is not something someone makes us do. AND work is not necessarily connected with money. Work can be service to others or even to myself. Lately I consider writing to be my work, because it is therapeutic and a service to myself.
August 2020 – While going through my notes I found a quote from Henry David Thoreau commenting that “Man needs not something to do with, but something to do.” In other words, our life is not about things but about purpose!
So it’s me again. I woke up from my nap and overheard Mom talking to Brother about getting another kitty! I am AGAINST IT! I lead a wonderful life here, I am the boss. I call the shots on anything related to me and I don’t have to share SQUAT. Why would I want that to change?? Over and out, I need to check on a mouse under the fridge.
Normally, mom is a pleasant, affectionate white haired lady, but sometimes my behavior can trigger an alarming change. This is when she becomes what I call the Party of No. Teeth bared and eyes blazing, she comes after me, voice raised with the NO word! NO jumping onto the counter, NO walking on the table, NO drinking from her cup, NO biting during play, etc. etc. This was a huge puzzle to my younger self; now I’ve gotten used to it ‘cuz I know she’s really not going to kill me.
I know mom loves me because she feeds me, lets me alone when I sleep, and only pulls my tail when I have escaped outdoors. (She calls it the Handle.)
Its a good thing I didn’t know Mom when she was a kitten. I understand she was hard on cats. Black & white Tippy used to disappear into the basement for days just to escape her! Especially after she was forced to wear doll clothes, and ride in a carriage in a Fourth of July parade! (Don’t ask how I know these things that happened before I was born; I’m a cat.) Time for a nap now. I may check in later….Regards, Tigger
About two years ago, with grief still looming on my horizon,
an idea occurred to me: I was out walking one lovely day in late summer, when it hit me: “Sue, you need to set a couple of new goals”. Right away I knew what those goals would be. I need people, so I decided to meet as many new folks as I could. I need exercise, so I thought of training for a 5K event. (Not that I would actually have to sign up for one, just train for it. And I would walk, not run!)
These goals pleased me. I found a new group at the senior center that helped me to work with my hands again. They knit and crochet for charity, and they are delightful, generous people. As to the 5K effort, turns out I did participate in one locally, on October 30, and completed it! Finishing well toward the end of the pack, I was proud as anything.
Tasks are different from goals and not nearly as much fun. But recognizing and dealing with them made me feel better. Tasks, as you know, are things like dishes in the sink or the clutter in the bedroom. Household maintenance issues, like replacing the flapper valve or the entire commode, are surely tasks, ones I would really rather put off!
People who succeed at these kinds of things say the key is taking one task a day. (Unless the task is something major like replacing the commode or getting the house rewired.) I don’t always do this, but when I do I find it lightens my load immensely.