Thursday, May 8, 2014

Radio Silence

It’s been hard to find my blog voice again. I’ve been struggling with grief…I had said in my last post that it wasn’t excessive & I still don’t think it is…but I’m starting to think maybe even normal, healthy grief would benefit from counseling. Maybe it’s that I already have a propensity for depression…I know I suffered PTSD after the dreadful experience with the hospital & getting basic care for my aunt the last week before she died. That time in the hospital just prior to her admittance into hospice, it was a nightmare.

All this emotion has seemed to put up a barrier between my blog & myself…I don’t seem to know how to write anymore…because it’s such a personal topic that it makes it hard for me to organize my thoughts on it all…also because I resolved a long time ago to have this blog only be about being a SMC. I really want to just write about the great things Elena is doing…I want to share what an amazing little girl Elena is becoming…but it feels fake to share all that without you knowing my mental state, to have that context…& that made me realize this struggle with grief is related to being a single parent. It is affecting me as a parent as much as it’s affecting me as person, which of course means all of this is affecting Elena.

It’s all so overwhelming…I know Elena is very keen to my state of mind. She is such an affectionate, cuddly little girl. She seems to have such a deep sense of empathy & compassion. Even the Director at her preschool has mentioned that she is deeply empathetic. When I am home, she wants to be touching me, holding my hand, hugging me, sitting on my lap…it amazes me that at such a young age, she seems to sense that I need a little taking care of…& that makes me profoundly sad. She shouldn’t have to feel this way so young. It makes me wonder if it’s about comforting herself as well. We have talked about how Gramma Lee is gone in very age appropriate ways… maybe awakening a realization that any of us could be gone, making her fear losing me?

Another layer to all this is that I have pretty much the entire contents of my aunt’s house now in my house…you can hardly move in some rooms as it is piled with furniture & boxes. Her house sold so quickly & I just haven’t come to a place yet to let go of most of it. I am also overwhelmed by her friends’ constant requests for items & mementos of her. A lot of what they ask for are items that don’t have sentimental value to me personally…but they are things that were important to my aunt’s & it hurts every time I have to let go of something…but they are grieving too…they miss their friend & are grasping onto ways to be close to her. I have to remember to be sensitive to that & not react so selfishly.

I have this overwhelming feeling of not being able to keep up…I’m on a constant uphill run & never get a chance to even just catch my breath. All day at work I have to act & behave normally, stay focused & get my work completed. When I get home I have to be on for Elena. She deserves 100% of me in those couple of hours before bedtime. It’s the one area I feel like I’m actually succeeding in, being a good parent to her. By the time she’s asleep, I’m mentally & emotionally spent. I just don’t have the mental energy to return email, peruse Facebook, write blog posts. On the best of nights, I get the laundry folded, the dishwasher loaded & maybe some toys picked up…anything beyond that makes me want to cry.

I just have to keep going tho, don’t I? The path will level out sometime, won’t it?


  1. I am so sorry you are going through such a tough time. I sincerely hopes it gets better. I can understand how exhausting it is to be "on" all day, mornings at work and nights at being Mommy - I feel that way too - but to add that extra layer of coping with your loss makes it so much harder. Just be kind to yourself.

  2. Oh, I can understand your feeling of being overwhelmed, and not letting work see your grief and then wanting to be there for Elena. Counseling might be a good idea, as you said, if only to have a safe place to work through your feelings in, without trying to get all the words right.

    Perhaps it would make it easier to part with some of your Aunt's things if you thought of how happy it would make her to know her friends were taking some of her belongings to treasure and remember her by.

    Sending you huge hugs. It's such a hard time for your heart right now.

  3. It will level out; probably when you least expect it or need it to.

    I wish I was there so I could give you a real hug. An online one will have to suffice.

  4. Thank you for your honesty! I don't know a single person who won't appreciate this post for what it is. A REAL reflection of life right now. I am so sorry you are dealing with grief. It sucks. If you are feeling so overwhelmed and emotionally spent and have the means for counseling, then I don't see the harm in trying. It may give you the extra support you need for the time being.

    Thank you for all your comments on my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on each post.

  5. You've been and on Facebook. I've been waiting for you to resurface and have been thinking a lot about you and all that you are going through. I've never gone through therapy, but maybe you need someone to talk to. Or maybe it's just too soon. After all, you are still grieving. Your aunt didn't pass away very long ago. Let me know if you need to talk. I'd offer more but I'm a little far away.

  6. All parents will go through periods of sadness at some point or the other for different is inevitable, and it is also likely that their children will pick up on it. The fact that Elena can sense it and tries to comfort you just speaks to what an amazing little girl she is; I would really tell you not to feel sad about the fact that she has to do this, these are the unavoidable parts of life and growing up, and compared to many other children all around the world, all our babies are very blessed and lucky.

    And yes, the path will level out in time. It always does. In the meantime, be as kind to yourself as possible, and try to get as much help as possible as you go through this. (((((((Hugs)))))))))

  7. I'm sorry you are feeling this way, it isn't an easy thing to handle on your own. Have you considered some professional counseling to help you talk some of your grief out? Maybe they would have suggestions on how to step forward to a place where you won't feel like you can't handle all of the weight of it all. Also, maybe leaning on your aunt's friends for some support might help too. I bet they would be more than willing to help you out with sorting through your aunt's belongings when you are ready to. Either way, don't forget to take care of yourself with a gentle heart, don't worry about the blog and FB, your friends will be there for you when you are ready to come back.

  8. I've felt unbearably overwhelmed so many times in the past few years, and for me, yes, it does even out. Be gentle with yourself and take as much time as you need to deal with your aunt's things/etc. Also, I understand not wanting to bear every personal detail of your life on your blog. I treat my blog as I would chatting at a party. Meaning, there is a real level of censorship. I have real life friends, some of whom I know professionally (even an ex-boss who is a very important professional connection). So I absolutely try to not overshare, while also trying to be honest. It's a balance and whatever is right for you is fine- no obligations for posting regularly, or posting content! Take care of yourself, I am wishing peace for you.

  9. Sending you peaceful, healing thoughts. I hope this time of feeling overwhelmed and sad passes quickly for you, and you're able to enter a new place of peace. Grieving is different for different people, so it's hard to say when it will start to feel better... but it will. Counseling may help, and would certainly be worth a try, in my opinion, if you have the means.

    Take care, and be good to yourself.

  10. I'm sorry you've had to go through this. Counseling may indeed be helpful, or at least worth a try. And though Elena may be picking up on some of your feelings I am sure that she will be fine. Wishing you the best as you work through this.

  11. I am so sorry. It is hard and I know what you mean about feeling spent at the end of every day and I am not dealing with losing close to me too. Just try not to judge yourself too harshly about any of it! Beating yourself up doesn't help anyone or anything.

    Lots of virtual hugs!

  12. You have a lot going on and I wish some of the things on your plate could be lifted. At least for me I know the warmer weather brings on a new source of energy, so maybe it will do the same for you. You have to do what you are comfortable doing, whether that's talking to a counselor, opening up here on your blog, writing posts but never publishing them, etc. Hugs!!


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