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Thursday, February 24, 2011


I have put a deadline on myself to do all the stuff around the house that I need to do during my spring break which is coming up in a few weeks. I’ve been avoiding most of it because it’s just been too much to think about, but I think I’ll feel a lot better if I get it all accomplished.

My grief counselor calls this “instrumental” grief. Grieving through doing tasks or projects. Planning the 5k in honor of Andie is a perfect example of how one “instrumentally grieves” she said. She told me that people who grieve this way tend to be less emotional in their grief- less feelers and more doers, which made me feel less like a freak for not crying all the time like I think I should be doing. I have really felt like there was something wrong with me because I’m not an emotional wreck on most days of the week. Not to say that I don’t have crying attacks and days where I feel like I could cry at the drop of a hat, but for the most part I just go about my day feeling wistful and nostalgic, wishing he were still here, but not a blubbering mess.

On the list of things to do:
1. Re-arrange my bedroom and put up a fresh coat of paint.
2. Organize the funeral memorabilia and find a place to store it.
3. Organize my office; file all the paperwork, bills, and forms associated with death. Shred what is no longer needed.
4. File our taxes. I’ve been avoiding this one since there is a bunch of new stuff to consider this year like the fact that I’ve receive social security income and life insurance, and we have a ton of medical bills related to the night he died that we might be able to deduct. When I got Andie’s w-2 in the mail I opened it and it was about half the amount that he usually makes. I almost called the HR department at his company thinking some huge error had been made- then it hit me…He only lived half of the year, only worked half of the year, and therefore only earned half of what he usually did. UGH! Grief bites you in the butt in the strangest ways.
5. Paint the living room.
6. Consider packing up or getting rid of some of Andie’s belongings…pretty sure nobody wants to hold onto his underwear and socks for sentimental reasons so that might be a good place to start.

I try to avoid the “in your face” tasks that remind me so clearly that he is gone. And I do pretty well at it most of the time, but I have to start moving forward at least in small measure so I’m doing what I do best: making a list and setting a goal. We’ll see how far it gets me.


  1. I think that, knowing you, this will be good in a lot of ways. I also think it's good that you're planning for it ahead of time- you have some time to anticipate it and work up to it. Plus you have friends with time off who can help shred and paint. :)

  2. i'm right there with you with my own list...not sure i'm ready to tackle clothes yet- but getting closer-

  3. These are such hard tasks. The underwear and socks are what started my cleaning. Once I started though I was ok. I sorted into piles of things he treasured, things I hold sentimental value for and 'other' things. I decided to start with things in bins and some of his treasured items in a cedar chest so my kids can see it.

    Hugs to you. I am a list maker too. It helps me mentally prepare for these major tasks.

  4. For some reason I ran across your blog from someone else's. It looks like our common ground is that we have twins. I just had to drop in and tell you that I think you're amazing. Strong. My heart goes out to you & I wish you & your sweeties happiness & healing.
    God bless!

  5. I guess I'm an instrumental griever too but never realized it. I planned a benefit concert in my husband's honor for the first anniversary of his death and raised money for the American Brain Tumor Association. I also just finished redecorating and organizing every room in my house! And I also felt weird about not crying as much as I thought I would or should.

    Socks and underwear were the first to go for me too. Not much sentimental value and easy to throw out (for me at least). Don't be to hard on yourself or surprised if you suddenly have a hard time checking some off your to-dos off your list. Grief does have a way of popping up when you least expect it. Good luck on your projects:).