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This holiday weekend was surprisingly difficult, including a very bad Sunday night again.

Fourth of July is not really a major holiday with special memories attached to it.  I barely celebrated most years as an adult, and don't have many childhood memories either.

I just fell all apart last night for a combination of reasons.  Since no one else is on the schedule for tonight this is as good a place to write about it as any.

Welcome, fellow travelers on the grief journey
and a special welcome to anyone new to The Grieving Room.
We meet every Monday evening.
Whether your loss is recent, or many years ago;
whether you've lost a person, or a pet;
or even if the person you're "mourning" is still alive,
("pre-grief" can be a very lonely and confusing time),
you can come to this diary and say whatever you need to say.
We can't solve each other's problems,
but we can be a sounding board and a place of connection.

Unlike a private journal
here, you know: your words are read by people who
have been through their own hell.

There's no need to pretty it up or tone it down..

It just is.

Saturday and Sunday were the most glorious summer days of the year in Boston so far.  It was a gorgeous weekend after Hurricane Arthur passed through.  I did manage to stay focused in the present moment and enjoy the warm breezes and blue skies a little.

I heard on Saturday that some of my family members had gathered for the holiday in North Carolina, and it filled me with nostalgia for the family gatherings of my youth.  So many people, so much food, so much laughter.   So many of those people are dead now.  Some have been gone for decades.  All the adults from my childhood home have died.  My mother.  Her parents. Her brothers and sister.  So many of the faces I think of when I hear the phrase "family reunion" are no longer around.  I don't know how my mind got stuck on that.

The Hallmark channel was been running some kind of Christmas in July theme all weekend.  Back to back Christmas movies.  The song Hard Candy Christmas started running through my head, as a general metaphor for a holiday that is a time of abundance and joy for a lot of people but for others is a time of want and lack:  lack of holiday spirit, lack of family and companionship, lack of life direction.

I made it through Sunday morning OK.  There was a baptism at church.  Two lovely little boys from the same extended family.  One was about 18 months old in a cute white suit.  The other was less than 6 months old and slept through most of it.  My childlessness grief button always gets pushed whenever I start thinking about death.  After the service they were the epitome of a big happy family with lots of other little kids running around.  So many people, so much food, so much laughter.   My heart was in my throat.

Sometimes when these moods come, I cry out wondering where my comfort is.

But last night I realized anew that sometimes there is no such thing as comfort.  There are some hurts that cannot be assuaged.  All that can be done in terms of "distress tolerance" is finding a way to get through it.  Live with it.  Maybe distract yourself with something for a time.

I bought a big greasy dinner.  Food.  My drug of choice.  Most reliable means of escape.  The pleasure does not last long, and ultimately it is self-destructive, but it's hard to think of consequences when the pain is so bad in the moment.  It works as a temporary distraction.

I put on some loud music and was able to lose myself in that for a time.  Singing along with oldies.  Letting mysekf be carried away on the music.

Distress tolerance is about trying everything until the worst of the feeling passes.

I was trying everything.

Except calling someone to talk.  I still haven't gotten the hang of that.  If I call someone when I am feeling that desperate and they turn out to be unavailable or I don't reach anyone, then I always feel much much worse.  So I was reluctant to spin that wheel of chance.  I got through it by myself.

One way or another.  I made it through the night.

I slept late.  I bounced right back.  Today is not so bad.

My Fourth of July weekend was like a hard candy Christmas.  But I won't let sorrow bring me way down.  I'll be fine.

The weather is always beautiful after a hurricane.

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Comment Preferences

  •  everyone please share whatever you need to share (16+ / 0-)

    Even if it has nothing to do with the subject of the diary.

    As always, TGR is a grieving Open Thread.

    Participating here is an act of trust between blogfriends who know each other and between people who have never met.  We send our needs, our cries for help, our poems of loss and recovery, our honest emotions, out into the blogosphere.  We trust that someone reading our words has been in a similar place and truly understands.  We trust that someone out there will offer a kind word and stand beside us as we rant and rage about the unfairness of it all. We read without judgment and offer presence, not advice.

    All future dates on the hosting schedule are OPEN.   I hope there is continuing interest in and need for TGR.  If this community is valuable to you, please help to keep it going by offering to write one of the weekly diaries so folks don't have to hear from me every Monday  :-D

    If you have a grief anniversary or other significant date coming up, and would like to write a diary for a particular week, please post a comment in the diary asking for the date you want, and/or send me a kosmail, and/or send an email to TrueBlueMajority AT gmail DOT com.

    The Grieving Room is open for discussion.  What is on your mind and heart tonight?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 02:01:27 PM PDT

  •  Oh, TBM (10+ / 0-)

    I had an interesting weekend myself. It seems that the first week of every month has a fifth of the month in it, the day in December 2012 I walked into our bedroom to see how Jim's nap was going to find that he had died in his sleep. 41 years, gone just like that. It doesn't occur to me that I might be out of sorts until after I make a couple of unnecessarily harsh comments here based on at least one misreading of something. This month I actually wrote a public apology for the Kos community. One of the people I addressed it to absolved me in the diary, the other decided not even to leave a trace in it if indeed she read it.

    Nineteen months and it's still affecting me. I know it's not because I spent ten of the thirteen days of my last trip with my brothers in grief -- heck, maybe it's because neither of them was here to greet the day. MAYBE I'll take notice next month. I know I'll try to.

    I was here all day too. Please call next time you need someone who knows on the other end of the phone. I'm good at that by now.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:12:47 PM PDT

    •  nineteen months is not that long (5+ / 0-)

      considering how many years you were together

      i'm glad you are connecting with your brothers in grief.  i think that is the only way we get past any loss... by connecting to people and relationships we still have.  they are not a substitute, they are no replacement, but they are what we have to hold on to

      i missed your public apology, but we are all entitled to rough times.  at least you are noticing that the monthly anniversary is tearing at you.  awareness is the first step to healing.

      thanks for the offer of a listening ear.  i am so bad at calling.  but i have your number in my phone and maybe the next time i am losing it I may reach out ♥

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:40:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This holiday was a weird one for me as well. (9+ / 0-)

    Ed's birthday is Wed. We used to spend every fourth with another couple who had a better view of the fireworks from their backyard. Last year I joined them and regretted it very much. I just missed Ed. His laughter, his smiles.

    So this year I dreaded getting the invitation and started trying on different excuses. But the invitation never came. Initially relieved, I started to feel hurt, until later that evening I realized that they would have to have come up here to see the fireworks because the location was changed. I should have hosted the dinner this year. I felt like an idiot.

    Ed would have known about the location change, he was always more interested in the local small town goings-on than I am. I don't even read the local paper anymore.

    I don't seem to be able call anyone and ask for help or comfort. If I could have, I wouldn't have had to come up with excuses for not attending the get-together. I would have just said that it hurts too much. But I don't want to burden friends with my grief on a happy, for them, occasion.

    Instead, I stop by here, do a little crying on whoever's shoulder is available and then get back to the enduring part that you expressed so well. We have to somehow just get through it.

    Oh oh, I hope THAT doesn't end up in someone's sig line! :) - kos

    by Susan Grigsby on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 05:57:27 PM PDT

    •  maybe it is just as well that you (4+ / 0-)

      didn;t host the dinner this year, if you had a hard time with the fireworks last year.

      grief means that traditions change.  sometimes it hurts to change holiday traditions; sometimes keeping old traditions hurts more than letting them go.

      as for not being able to call anyone, I definitely hear you.  i wish i knew what the answer was in terms of why it is so hard to reach out.  i didn't think I was too proud to admit vulnerability, but maybe that is a little bit of it.  i also don't want to bring my downer emotions into a day whether other people are trying to be upbeat and happy.

      when I was writing the diary about my hard time last night and said I was "trying everything" it was only then, writing thoe very words, that I realized I hadn't tried everything because i had called no one.  it did not even cross my mind to call anyone!  i am tired of explaining myself to people.  and there is the whole "shame" of complicated grief.  it's "just" my mom, not a spouse, not a child, not someone that you are entitled to mourn forever.  I am the one always telling people there is no timetable and yet even I wish i were farther along than I am.  every time I think I am over the hump i get one of these setbacks and feel very discouraged.

      i appreciate being able to write whatever is on my mind at TGR even if only a few stop in to read.

      it is as close as I ever get to reaching out and telling people i am struggling.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:50:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  {{{TBM}}} (8+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry you had a hard weekend.  We never know what's gonna trigger it.

    I cried so much in this past week, I'm surprised I haven't dried up and blown away.  Not necessarily grief, per se, just all those other things that seem to come bubbling to the surface when I'm at a weak point.

    But we put one foot in front of the other, pretend we're whole, functioning human beings, and hope the cracks in the shell seal up enough to keep the bad stuff inside.

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:10:13 PM PDT

    •  {{{{{puzzled}}}}} (4+ / 0-)
      Not necessarily grief, per se, just all those other things that seem to come bubbling to the surface when I'm at a weak point.
      that's it!  that's definitely it! it's partly grief and it's partly all the other stuff that comes bubbling to the surface.  the baptism really got to me.  I thought i was past grieving the loss of my childbearing years too, but there it was.  there it all is.  

      today was my day off.  tomorrow I will put one foot in front of the other and put on my high functioning face and try not to let anyone see that Sunday really rocked me.

      thanks for stopping in

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:55:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  my 2nd husband commited suicide 7/4/80-and Lou (10+ / 0-)

    died  10/23/10--I miss his loving touch and nurturance .The
    day he died he kissed my hand-I miss him so much!

    Conservatism is killing this country. Jayden

    by swampyankee on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 06:24:10 PM PDT

  •  Watchi family gatherings always trigger sadness. I (7+ / 0-)

    do have opportunities during the year that I'm with family, but I still react when I see scenes on tv of "send us pictures of how you celebrated" etc. I thinking of coping, not comfort-the choices we  make are both I think. The 4th isn't sentimental for me. I had an invitation to partake in 4th activities but it would mean driving 40 miles round trip at night, no thank you! I had a good excuse-babysat my grandson so had little sleep. I also don't like to call people to talk--I don't like to overwhelm someone with my grief but when I call it turns out ok. I also have another issue, not coming across needy.

    •  not coming across needy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac, Aunt Pat, viral

      is a concern of mine too

      except that i AM needy, and I feel bad about hiding my true self from my friends

      coping, not comfort
      that's a good phrase.  I am going to hold on to it.  Sometimes there is no comfort, there is just getting through it

      thanks for commenting tonight.  peace be with you!

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:01:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just before I went to the hospital (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, viral, riverlover

    to pick up Tonia,
    I had a dream about Pam.

    For any reader who doesn't know,
    my first wife, Pam,
    died six years ago,
    after 30 years of marriage.

    I married Tonia three years ago.

    Sometimes I slip,
    and say Pam,
    when I mean Tonia.

    30 years of my brain thinking,
    and causing me to say,
    seems like the reason for that slip.

    Tonia had cancer,
    in her uterus.

    The uterus was removed,
    July 3rd.

    I was taking a nap,
    just before going to the hospital,
    to pick her up.

    I had been alone at home for nearly 24 hours.

    Maybe my fear of loneliness
    was involved with the dream.

    I woke up feeling upset,
    and I wrote this private message
    to PapaChach,
    since he's a widower, like me.

    He has not responded to the message yet.

    Here it is for all of you to read:


    I had a dream about Pam, just now. Just after she died, I dreamed about her often in the first months after she died, maybe the first couple of years. But I've had a long stretch, maybe a couple of years, with no Pam dreams. In this dream I had just now, I didn't know I was in a dream, (I never do; my dreams are so vivid, and I never have a clue I'm dreaming). I started thinking, in my dream, wait a minute, Pam is dead, I saw her dead, so how is she alive and looking just like old times, right now? In my dream Tonia was with me. After I asked Tonia that question, how is it that Pam is here, regular old Pam, when I know she died, I looked acros the room once, and she was a distant silhouette, in her wheelchair; I looked away, and looked back, and she was gone. There was an ominous knock on the door. I went to answer the door, and whoever it was came in, down a dark staircase, (couldn't be Pam in her wheelchair, walking down a staircase,), and he looked at a paper in his hand using a flashlight..... Then I woke up, and started crying. Shit. Another Pam dream. I wanted to tell someone. So, I thought of you. So, now I told you. Thanks for reading, as I like to say. Reply at your leisure. If you're itching to tell someone how often, or if, you dream about Lauren, now and here would be the obvious time and place. But if, for any reason, you don't feel like it, you know the drill; with grief, you are the doctor, you prescribe your treatment, talk or don't, cry or laugh. Once again, thanks for reading.

    Famine in America by 2050: the post-peak oil American apocalypse.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 08:47:34 PM PDT

    •  just saw this, bigjac3 (0+ / 0-)

      i was going to write about dreams for tonight.... if I had seen your comment I would have

      that comment is so evocative and genuine,  You could expand it into a diary sometime.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 06:13:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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