“How’s your blob going?” my mother used to ask about this, my blog. Well, as you might have wondered, my blob fell off the edge of the earth as my mother died September 13. I’m not ready to write about her—and besides, she told me, “When you give your eulogy for me, lie.” So instead, I’m offering 10 lessons I’m learning about grief.
1. Give mourning time time. Whoa, you feel like you’ve fallen deep into the darkness. Ordinary life seems too odd to even participate.
2. You feel bad and then you feel bad when you feel happy. You don’t want to have any more sorrow and yet when it lifts for a moment and you laugh you feel awful.
3. You have to remember that just because you’re laughing doesn’t mean you didn’t love hard or that you love any less. Laughing is good. Joy is fundamental.
4. Find things to fill your well. Once you can, listen to music and you will hear its beauty in a profoundly new way. Smells take on new clarity. Tastes are sharper, too.
5. Hug a tree. Oh, I know, it seems so silly, especially if you’re caught hugging a tree in public but those trees have reminded me what it feels like to stand tall and sway in the wind and not break.
6. Be aware of your dreams. My mother has appeared twice in my dreams so far. The first time, my younger son was holding her under his arm and she was laughing. She had on make-up and her wig so you know it had to have been a special occasion.
7. Go gentle on yourself. You are in mourning time. It’s a totally different time. Slow as sand. You’re allowed to not be pumped up and ready for action. You’re allowed to just sit and look at the clouds.
8. Your heightened impatience with irritating people is directly proportional to your feeling that you can forgive everyone on the planet. We’re all human. We’re all doing the best we can.
9. Whatever soothes your soul, do that. Go pray. Go meditate. Go do finger painting. Go to where your soul finds consolation. Pour a gentle balm on your spirit.
10. And you’ll find yourself totally aware of your own mortality. You’re part of the next wave to hit the shore. This is it. Your turn next. Your turn, now, so live it up.