I want to write some witty upbeat post. I want people to read it, and laugh, and think, ‘Oh, wow. She’s doing well, given the circumstances.’ Then again, I want a lot of things that obviously aren’t going to happen.
I went to campus on Tuesday. I had scheduled a walk with two other professors in some woods that are part of our campus. We walked along, and I listened to the older professor talk about the history of the woods, the plants, the trail. Then he took us off the trail to show us a tree. On the way back, we must have brushed against some sort of hive. Pain. A few stings. The male professor turned around so I could take off my pants and make sure the bees were gone. Pant-less on a trail with my colleagues.
Later that day, in a parking garage, walking around and around, up and down, trying to find my car. I can’t. Minutes pass. Trouble breathing, tears forming. I call my husband. I can’t find my car, I say. I am sure I parked it at C 3 and it’s not there. Press the panic button, he says. Yes, panic. I press it. I hear the car below me. I press it again, following the sound down to C 1. Relief, but disconcerting. I was so sure it was at C3. I want a panic button I can press about life, a beeping noise that will alert people to my panic and guide me to security. No button.
I listened to a 20-minute self compassion meditation. May we be safe, may we be peaceful, may we be kind to ourselves, may we accept ourselves as we are. Suffering comes from two main sources, the recording says, from ourselves not being as we want, and from our lives not being as we want. Yes, I am not who I want to be. My life is not how I want it to be. The voice tells me to repeat the following, ‘May I accept my life as is. This is the way things are.’
Then there is the prayer: God, give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I need this. I need this wisdom. I don’t know what I can control. I self-blame, I self-criticize but it does not help. So please, give me this strength, give me this courage, give me this wisdom. I am waiting. I am waiting for a lot of things.
It’s gray, pouring rain, reflective of the way I am feeling. I was going to volunteer at Eli’s school this morning for big truck day but it was cancelled because of the rain. So I put a laundry in the machine, put the dishes in the dishwasher and now am trying to figure out what to do with the day. I realized that I don’t actually do anything when I have chunks of free time–perhaps I am afraid to do something enjoyable when my son is dead, perhaps I think about all the work I ‘should’ be doing, and freeze, perhaps because doing anything requires too much effort.
At night lately, Eli has been asking me to sing ‘Favorite thing’ from the Sound of Music. Does singing help? Do voices joining together bring unity? Make things better? Can I think of my favorite things and feel some relief? If only my pain were just from bee stings, and not from the death of my son.
My favorite things from yesterday: singing with Eli, watching Heroes with my husband at night, friends who check in on me, who don’t give up on me.