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If you were looking for TGR and wondered what happened...

I forgot to post last night.

On the one hand, this is bad, since I know there are people who look for the diary as a touchstone.  Monday can be a hard day, with the whole week stretching out like an empty page, but then again, any day can be a hard day when grief takes hold.

On the other hand, Monday nights have been such an intense grief focus for so many years, it is kind of amazing that yesterday I somehow just let go of it.  

I am choosing to see this as a healing moment.

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.

I knew it was Monday.  All day.  I knew at midnight had to take an urgent day trip to the South Shore, and I woke up thinking about how I would manage to post in my Monday morning diary while on the road.

But even though Monday evenings for the last SEVEN YEARS (!) have been focused on evaluating my grief process, and in fact the whole day was spent dealing with and thinking about death, I was feeling detached from my own grief process, and detached from the Monday night deadline.

So when I got home after a long day I just spaced out!  After I got back to South Station I took my time getting home and made several stops along the way, with no thought at all about getting back to my apartment by 8pm.  I stopped at the drugstore.  I bought a new phone.  I sat on a bench drinking sparkling water and watching the clouds go by.  When I got back to my apartment, I went on line, played Sudoku, played Tetris, answered some posts in another diary, talked on the phone, watched TV, made (a healthy and nutritious!) dinner, and went to bed.

It wasn't until this morning that I realized I had forgotten even to post an open thread!

Distraction is the key to getting through a lot of difficult times:  getting past the desire to binge, healing a broken heart, completing a test of physical endurance.

So as I said I am taking this as a sign of healing.  For the first time in years, Monday evening came and TGR was not the uppermost thought in my mind.

However, in order to avoid disappointing people in the future, I will put some open threads in TGR queue to publish automatically.  I do want everyone to have a place to gather even if I am absent or spacing out.

Distraction never worked very well when grief was new.  And I used to grasp at it without success during bad times, even recently, but just as a desperate drowning person can take down a rescuer, my grasping wildly for distractions sometimes just made everything worse.

But yesterday it came all on its own without any directed effort from me.  And lasted all day.

Have you ever had a time when you suddenly noticed you had successfully distracted yourself from the worst of it all?  That for a few hours or even minutes you had set it all aside and the ache was not at the forefront of your mind, not realizing you were enjoying a respite until the emotions come flooding back in?

Productive distraction is a gift.

May it come more and more frequently for all of us.

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