"A Long, Long Time Ago Yesterday"

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"A Long, Long Time Ago Yesterday"

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time-425811_640A week ago, I was trying to get a handle on what I needed to do. It felt like days since my best friend died. In fact is was less than 24 hours. Hence the title of this blog, a phrase coined by a member on AfterGiving.com regarding the distortion of time in loss and grief.

The past three months had been focused on my friend, helping in anyway I could: Visiting in the hospital, taking her for chemo, taking her to the ER, staying at her house overnight, helping with her dog while she was in the hospital. The days after her death were a hasty removal of her personal items from her house; her husband who had leased a place with his girlfriend (divorce not finalized) wanted the house back and the dog gone the day after her death. He reconsidered and generously gave us two days. That is a whole other blog.

In some ways my days are normal now. Or at least the normal that had been evolving one year after the death of my MIL who was my caree for 10 years. That normal is attending to my part-time job tasks (from home) and giving this house and yard some much needed care. Although some days I find it hard to start engaging, I find the tedious work of scraping paint and sanding smooth the old windows frames to be therapeutic. It would be a drag if I had to do it eight hours a day, but I do it in small chunks. I think of nothing, I'm focused on the task. It's rewarding to see the finished results.

It's just over a week since my friend died. It still feels unreal, but I know she died. I was there. I was holding her hand and felt the warmth slowly leave. Thoughts of sitting with her during her last lucid night--watching her pain as she struggled to breath, holding her hand, reminiscing about our good times--creep into my consciousness at times. I still feel detached most of the time, until something comes up that I want to share or vent about. Then it all comes crashing in. I can't pick up the phone and call her.

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Denise

Hi Jean--You've written about this--that we grieve the loss of our aging parents but yet in an expected kind of way. It's the loss of someone so young and vital, like your friend, that really feels like a hurricane crashing into us. \n\nI love your recognition of the healing repetitive motion of scraping paint. \n\nI'm so grateful you are here with us and continue to keep us posted.

Jean

<a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/worriedwife/' rel=\"nofollow\">@worriedwife</a> and <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/hussy/' rel=\"nofollow\">@hussy</a>, I also went through \"grieving a future\" loss of my friend. I can't imagine, nor do I want to, what it would be like if it were my husband...

Hussy

Your comment about your detachment suddenly giving way to harsh reality really struck a chord with me. I am not grieving a current loss; I grieve a future one. I too find scraping and sanding to be very therapeutic. Painting and weeding as well. Like you, I think of nothing. Until out of nowhere I think of something. It blindsides me. The realization that some day I will not be able to share _______ with my husband. I'm feeling like I need another dose of therapy; I think it's time to repaint the yellow bedroom.

jan

thank you\n

Thedogmama

Jean, such a familiar story, familiar feelings, familiar memories. I am finding comfort in the common threads many of us are weaving in our aftergiving blogs. I hope you are too. Thinking about you finding peace in the simple act of scraping paint.