When something bad happened in my family many years ago, my dear friend Linda told me that it was like standing at the foot of a mountain. The problem was like the mountain and seemed insurmountable in the immediate moment. Time from the problem was like distance moving away from the mountain. As time elapsed, the problem would seem more manageable, much like the mountain viewed from afar doesn't seem so daunting.
Since that time, I've used my friend's analogy to help me get past several other issues and I've shared the imagery with others. It has been very helpful in the past.
This March, after a lovely two week vacation in Florida, I came home to the news that my daughter-in-law was going to do a 12 week internship in far away New Mexico and that my two grandchildren were going along. As the news sunk in, I struggled to keep a smile on my face. On the one had, I was so very proud of her! She'd come so far from the high school dropout that I'd first met 13 years ago. Now, she was going back to her homeland, the Mescalero Apache reservation, to complete a paid internship for her Masters' degree! In between, she'd had my first grandchild and suffered a life-threatening bleed out in her brain. What a fine example she is for her children and for anyone on her reservation!
Yet, everyday, my heart breaks anew as I see something that causes me to think of them. I put away the puppets that my granddaughter and I used for our puppet shows. It pained me too much to see them. Yesterday, I noticed the Wii controls and game lying where she'd left them by the TV the last time we played. The tears welled up again.
Now, it seems that my son may eventually join them and they won't be coming back. How will I stand it? Today, I thought about the holidays and trying to make it without them. It hurts so much. Yet. I should not be feeling so sad. It's not like anyone's died. I can see them via technology when we do Google Hangouts! It is a bitter consolation. Seeing isn't the same as being together. Yet, it's better than texting, I guess.
Coping with change is the task we all must master. Change brings loss and loss brings grief. We know that grief has stages and is complex and unique to each individual. I want to get away from the foot of the mountain. I really do.
Here's my plan. I'm going to work on several areas of my life that I can control. I'm going to exercise more. I'm going to meditate again. I'm going to read more fiction. And, I'm going to smile again. Really!