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Monday, December 27, 2010

The art of distraction...

If distraction were an art I’d be right up there with Picasso, Monet, and Rembrandt. I’m really good at distracting myself and staying so busy that I don’t have time to focus on the grief. I’ve figured out that I tend to stay connected to the blogs and hang on every word that other widows say as they are the only ones who truly understand me, and I them. They have become the greatest source of comfort for me. Almost the only source of comfort. I feel bombarded by all the distractions in my "real" life, and when I'm on the blogs I can connect in a different way. I stay so busy with the day to day tasks of life that the only time I really allow myself to think about the grief is when I’m alone in the car, or when I’m on the blogs.

We traveled out of town for the holidays and I purposely didn’t take my computer so I wouldn’t have ready access to the blog, or facebook, or email. I considered taking my journal but ultimately decided to leave it at home too. I felt like my mind needed a break from writing and processing. I wanted to just exist for the holidays. I wrapped myself up in a bubble and screened phone calls and didn’t return messages. I just didn’t want to talk to anyone about anything. I wanted to disconnect from the world. I just wanted to be. To be with my girls, to be away from my life for a moment, and all that connects me to it. Ironically, I wanted distraction…though in a different way than I am accustomed to.

For the first time in months I truly enjoyed myself. We had a wonderful vacation and I think getting fresh air and a change of scenery, and cutting off all communication with my “real” life helped tremendously. A weight was lifted and I lived. I felt joy. I ate good food, I cherished simple things like sunsets on the ocean and the sound of the surf, and my kids’ laughter. I was in the moment and connected with my girls like I haven’t been able to be for months. We stayed so busy sightseeing and doing activities that I stayed distracted, but in a good way.

The weather was glorious on the 23rd and the 24th so we visited the beach and got some great pictures. The cold front rolled in on Christmas Eve and at about dusk the sky turned a dull gray and the water reflected it’s color; the point on the horizon where the ocean meets the sky became indistinguishable. For just a moment it seemed that heaven met the earth and I wondered if God was bringing the angels down to meet us. On Christmas night I ventured out to get some milk for the girls and pick up a pizza for us adults. Alone in my car driving along the seawall was almost surreal. I was one of only a few cars on the road. There was a definite sense of calm. A serenity that I crave. The night was pitch black and the moon was covered with clouds so there was no reflection of it glinting off the ocean. Except for some barges and ships way out on the horizon whose lights twinkled, it was just a vast chasm of black. The water and the sky so dark, that again you couldn’t distinguish where one stopped and the other began. I guess that’s all this life really is…points along a spectrum with no definitive beginning or ending for our souls, despite the fact that our bodies have a definitive start and end point. Our souls just move in and out of this realm and into another, as seamlessly as the ocean meets the sky. And I wondered on this dark night, where was Andie’s soul? Was he beside me in the car taking it all in with me, was he back at the house watching over the girls, or was he somewhere out of our reach completely?

The 26th was Andie’s 35th birthday and I wanted to celebrate his life that day but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I could hardly acknowledge it, past singing him Happy Birthday with the girls the minute that we all woke up that morning. After that it was a return to the hustle and bustle of packing to go home, and then making the road trip back, unpacking when we got home, then dinner/bath/bedtime routine. And there it was again, distraction.

Sweet distraction seeping back in and working it’s magic…

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