Monday, October 14, 2013

World Mental Health Day came and went

I didn't celebrate it.  I am hanging on to my mental health as best as I can, and sometimes I think there has been a bit of healing in little fits and starts, but neither grief nor wellness follows the notorious stages as described by folks in the helping professions.

Take denial, for instance, as it applies to dealing with death. I had a boatload of denial in the weeks following my husband's suicide, but then less. However, denial comes back but not in good ways-now I feel denial that he ever lived.  My kids burst out with things like "I'm starting to forget what he looked like!" followed by tears. I feel reluctance to get rid of the last bits of paper with his handwriting in case that means he gets totally erased himself. And this from someone who is not wholly grieving his passing because I am actually quite angry with him, still. I sometimes wonder if he was really real, at all.

This is where my existential angst gets me stuck - my kids didn't exist, and then they did, and even if it kicked my butt the experience of being a parent has been amazing...yet now the other parent exists no more. Wha??? I don't get it. No wonder my head hurts and my heart aches and my hands shake. All this bursting into existence and snuffing it out leaves the pile of consciousness that us "me" dizzy with the breathtaking power of it all.

So as usual, a folk song plays in my mind, from the inestimable Cheryl Wheeler.

Life is short, but the days and nights are long
Time will heal all these wounds
Some day soon
I'll be rising I'll be strong

But now I'm loosing all my battles
Now I'm down and dropping still
And this snow's blowing through
Like some ghost
With this blue I know too well

Broken hearts keep on beating just the same
So I guess I can too
Go through these moves
Facing forward, walking straight

But now my glance keeps drifting downward
Now my feet can't find their way
And this cold's creeping in
Through my bones
Whisperin it's here to stay

I'll bide my time, like there's any other way
It moves too slow, moves too fast
It's gone and past
And stopped entirely today

I know there's light on some horizon
But I can't see so far ahead
Patience and grace, blessed is love
I'm loosin my faith
In most of that stuff those wise men said

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