Journey Through Illness

February 20, 2014

Grief Cleanse Part V

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — FrancesC @ 5:38 am

Hello Grief?  Can you come out tonight to talk?

Yes, I’m here; Where else would I be?

I was half hoping, you wouldn’t answer.

Well, I’m still here, you won’t be able to get rid of me by doing “exercises” from a little book.

Like I said, I was half hoping.  Half hoping that this shit was working.  That if I do the exercises in the book that I would feel better.  I would have some room, space to create a new life.  And, actually, there have been a few days when I’ve felt a little; a little bit free to begin to stretch my mind, and begin to think differently; begin to think that sometimes things may work out.

I appreciate that you have been letting me out a bit.  But you will not be “getting rid of me” anytime soon.  The losses you’ve incurred happened, and they have had a profound effect upon your life.  Let me let you in on a few things.. First:  I don’t enjoy weighing you down.  I don’t have these devious plans to ruin you and leave you lobotomized.  I don’t receive any pleasure in this process.  1.    I just, “am”.  I’m a complex set of feelings:  sadness, fear, and anger.  If you need to break me down, then these are my major components.  Sure, there are many other words to describe these main feelings, and sometimes a few choice expletives help to emphasize the intensity level of the pain.  2.  The trauma of the past is over.  And you survived.  3.  The “grief cleanse” is just an exercise to begin to look honestly at what you’re been hiding from for the past couple years.  4.  Sometimes people need a few years when having been through multiple losses in a relatively short period of time; A few years, in the “waiting room” – to use the phrase from the book, Second Firsts.  5.  You have been strengthening your ego by being able to “get shit done”, while putting me away.  That process was valuable because it bred courage and resilience.  6.  However, it splits you in two, and continues to break your heart.  When you consciously face me, and you begin to process these complex feelings (i.e. grief), you do have space, energy, time to begin to create your new life.


Last night, I was enjoying the Olympic ice dancing and watching this prompted me to begin reviewing past Olympic performances; first reading and watching about the Usova/Gritchuk/Platov/Zhulin love triangle years…(What an intriguing soap opera that produced fierce rivalries, and wonderful performances!).  This led to watching several performances of my favorite pair skaters, Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov.  They were exceptional and won gold medals in pair skating in two Olympics – I believe it was 1988 and 1994.  In between that time, they got married, had a beautiful daughter, and continued to give figure skating some of the most incredible performances ever seen.  “G and G” as they were known were a beloved couple.  They shared their love of sport, and their love for each other in their skating.  In November, 1995, Sergei, suddenly died of a heart attack during a practice session on the ice in Lake Placid, NY.  Gordeeva, his widow, along with an all-star cast, skated a tribute in his honor titled “Celebration of a Life” in February 1996, which was later televised.  Thanks to “youtube”, I was able to watch much of this tribute.  Watching Gordeeva’s skate in memory of her husband moved me to tears and reminded how incredibly fragile live can be.   It was such a poignant story – their love, their passion, his untimely death, and her courage to begin again; starting a solo skating career.  Initially she looked so small and fragile without Sergei, but she got stronger each year and a few years later, she created a new life with a new family.  It’s truly an inspirational story; that allowed me to feel some of my own complex feelings related to my heart attacks and losses.

Working my way through my anxious feelings related to cheating death on several occasions, I begin to feel this underlying theme of gratitude.  Gratitude is something I can count on to shift and transform negativity toward appreciation and love.  I am grateful that I am here today.  I am grateful for my health, my loving relationship with my husband, my wonderful friends, my home, job, …many, many things.

That’s what this “grief cleanse” is doing for me…allowing me to work through some long held pain to get to a better place.  I can see where I seem to have a bit more of the psychic space available when I attend to my “stuff”.  I can breathe slower, deeper, more consistently; and dare I say..I can begin to feel calm and peaceful.


1 Comment »

  1. This is a beautiful post… I’m glad to hear that the grief cleanse is working!
    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Comment by Pinkjumpers — February 20, 2014 @ 5:56 am

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