Friday, May 26, 2017

Option B

I started reading Sheryl Sandberg's Option B after listening to her podcast about grief. She lost her husband unexpectedly while raising two young children. The book is part bio, part research on resiliency. If you're not familiar, Sheryl is/was the COO of Facebook and wrote Lean In about women in the workplace.

Page 21 reveals a familiar tune:

       Just as the body has a physiological immune system, the brain has a psychological immune          system. When something goes wrong, we instinctively marshal defense mechanisms. We see 
            silver linings in clouds. We add sugar and water to lemons. We start clinging to cliches.

I remember early after Adam's death, comforting myself with thoughts of being lucky to have had him 27 years, that everyone was able to get there for the service, that the arrangements fell into place so easily, that he wasn't living at home, so I was spared the daily void of him being gone and horror of finding him. Like my sister said, we could just kind of pretend he was "working" when the holidays or family get togethers came around. Cliches, or at least grief memes kept me going, knowing that others had gone through this, and understood how it felt. 

I will add more as I work thought this book. I have a feeling it will be slow, because I can only handle so much heaviness at a time. 

As I was thinking more about the gratitude I had in wake of Adam's death, as strange as it sounds, I was comforted that he had not been killed by a drunk driver, in a terrorist attack, or a random murder, because that would be even more senseless and would have left me angry and possibly bitter. As tragic and devastating as suicide is, it was something Adam chose to do. However impaired he was, I understand it on some level and suspect he had wanted it for some time. A random death would be even more unfair in my mind.

I can thank Adam for making me acutely aware of my mortality so that I feel an urgency to make the most of the time I do have on earth. I have heeded advice not to make large changes in early grief, but sometimes this feels like I have simply returned to baseline, and complacency with the status quo. I can teeter back and forth on this tightrope,

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day

I had a wonderful Mother's Day, albeit, without Adam. It started with brunch with my parents and Pat. It was so sweet for my mom to cook our favorite, biscuits & gravy with hash browns. My parents are Rocks and help and support us in so many ways.

Eli wrote me a beautiful 3 page letter and spent part of the afternoon on the porch with us. Cal drove four hours, to surprise me with a few hours visit.

I see this everywhere, but may not have noticed it until it applied directly to me. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is. Out of all the grief quotes, advice, axioms and memes, this is the biggie. If mentioning Adam's name makes me cry, it's not because you reminded of something I'm trying to forget about. It is tears of joy (and some sadness) that you remember and have the courage to deal with emotions. I don't blame you if you don't. It's hard for me, too. But know that it means the world to me to hear others acknowledge my son's life and my role as his mother.