Saturday, July 15, 2017

Surviving Year Two: Week 49

Tacos & Giggles (photo by a friend who hates to be tagged on the Internet)

This is Week 49 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here.

My friends have kept me alive through this grief process. That is a fact. If I had tried to do this on my own, I would have never survived this long. My friends have shown up for me in more ways then I could possibly mention. Many of them surprised me with their caring and generosity. A few surprised me with their withdrawal and fear of my grief. While it hurt at the time, I have found a place of forgiveness for them. Grief is hard to witness in people we love. Some folks just can't handle it.

But for those who have been showing up for me in their own raw, authentic, loving place, I am forever grateful. This includes friends who will pick up the phone when I call and listen and cry with me and then make me laugh a minute later. This includes friends who show up, ready to help me clean my house, pull weeds and make calls. And this includes friends who text me to come meet them for tacos and a neighborhood walk, while we talk about fear and grief and creativity.

Today's image was taken by one of those friends who is always up for hanging out and creating something in the moment. He always reminds me that there is more to explore and more to create, even in the worst of times. Giggles come easily with him, as do new ideas and fresh perspectives. After tacos, we walked around the beautiful town I live in, petting neighborhood cats and singing the entire Muppet Movie soundtrack as the sun gently set.

I've also noticed that when I take photos of myself, I am rarely if ever smiling. When others take my picture, I am almost always smiling. This has multiple meanings, including that even now, I hide my sadness from others. But it also means that I can find joy much more easily when I am with friends. While I think I am right in the middle between being an introvert and an extrovert, I definitely do get energy from being around other people. This is important for me to remember, because when I get sad, I cocoon — not wanting to "bring other people down." I'm trying to say yes to more social events, even if I show up sad, scared and alone. Sometimes this backfires on me, leaving me feeling more broken and wounded than before. But sometimes it can lift me up out of my sadness and help me find joy again.

It's a process that is always changing.

Thanks for witnessing me. See you next week.

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