This week has been a weird one for me… I honestly don’t know where my mind went there for a few days. I spent Wednesday and Thursday crying the whole time, and I was kind of out of it. I even didn’t go to work on Thursday (I never miss work!). You would think that was coming down sick or something, but that wasn’t the case.
Then, I spent the night last night in a hotel, all by myself. I was hoping for some sleep, but instead of sleep, I spent hours looking at old pictures, reading old emails to and about my brother, reading old blog posts (of before and after he died), and I even found the email address for someone that I had been looking for since he died (his best friend growing up). I also spent some time forcing myself to remember things about my brother… the good, the bad, and the ugly. I haven’t been able to remember much about him since his death; the last year of his life was so hard, and that’s all that I could remember.
Through reading old emails, I realized something. I have been feeling somewhat guilty over the past several years, thinking that I didn’t really reach out to him as much as I could… but the emails that I wrote him said otherwise. Even though I didn’t talk to him on the phone/in person as much as I could have, I regularly emailed him encouraging words… Telling him that I loved him and was praying for him… Typing out song lyrics that really spoke to me, so I thought they would encourage him, etc. I did reach out to him. The only way that I knew how.
Between that and finding his childhood best friend (and even chatting with him online for a bit!), I feel that I found some closure that I have been seeking for a while. Obviously the grieving process isn’t finished, but I feel so much more at peace today than I did even yesterday.
I also read through many old blog posts and see the transition from a peaceful, content, joyful person to a stressed, depressed, anxious person. I saw in my writing that I was trying to use food, organization, routine/schedule, exercise, natural living, etc my life so that I could kind of forget about the hurt… It was my way of controlling my environment when I felt so out of control on the inside. And it has continued to this day (it’s a little different now, but it’s still there).
So at this point, I’m trying to figure out where to go from here.
I believe that eating well and exercising are so very important for my health (mental, emotional, and physical). I just need to not focus on my weight, size, or even worry about counting calories… just eat well and exercise. I have found that I truly enjoy all things natural. It’s kind of part of who I’ve become. I love having chickens, making homemade detergent and cleaner, eating mostly natural foods, and being outdoors.
I need routine and a schedule. I need a (mostly) clean house. And all of these things are good and okay. They represent things about me… that I like routine, that I like natural living and outdoors, and that I enjoy working out. But I don’t need these things to feel in-control in the midst of grief… I just need to be me.
The biggest thing is that I need to take one day at a time, I need to think about my motives, and I need to stop thinking into the future (I will always do ___________. This is how I will do ____________ from now on). I will try to take “weaning” off of sodas one day at a time instead of just vowing to never have them again. I will buy raw milk when I can, and not when I can’t. I will do my best to work out five days a week, but if I can’t for whatever reason, I’m going to be okay with that. My goal will be to make cleaners, detergents, etc homemade, but if we have to buy it that week, then fine. I make bread most weeks, but there are those weeks that it just doesn’t happen. I’m thankful that Trader Joe’s sells their stone ground wheat bread (with very few ingredients) for $1.99. I will plant a small garden, because I have been wanting to do that again for several years and haven’t been able to! I love eating food that we grow! I will keep the house as clean as I can, but allow myself some slack when life is busy. I do not, however, want to allow my house to get into complete disarray again because that doesn’t help me! I want to do fun activities with the kids because they need that from their mama, and I enjoy doing things with them.
I want to do these things because they represent who I am, and all that I enjoy.
Robert’s new motto for me is “We will do what we can, when we can.” So that’s what I constantly have to say, out loud. I think it’s perfect.
I will continue reminding myself that I need to grieve… and allow myself too. I will make a conscious effort to think about Joey, talk about him, cry about him, and live life knowing that he is safe and at peace now.
Consciously, I am saying that this is what I’m processing today, and I realize that things sometimes change… and that’s okay. I need to live life, grieve, have joy, and know that being stressed with three little ones is normal, too! God has been there through it all and will continue to be. He loves me more than I will ever understand.