Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This is one of my autumn images from MSU's gardens. I find this tall grass beautiful but sad and filled with longing.

Yesterday I had my doc appointment -- and yes, I'm still not all-the-way better. I have a terrific doc. I've never felt "on the clock" with him. He's thorough, caring, listens to me and hears between the lines.

So, when he walked in and I started to cry, he sort of "got it." I told him -- "Here I feel safe. I don't have to be the outside Jeanie who has to be happy, hold it together, negotiate the minefields of different personalities every day, and (self-imposed) feels she must be all things to all people. Here I can let go." (I should say, he isn't a therapist -- this is my family doctor, which is all the more to his credit!)

Part of my stress, I know, is work related (have I mentioned how much I hate digital television?), part is worry about the kids and their health, part is this challenging economy, part is still feeling not up to par myself and part is anticipating the holidays which I both adore and which also grab my heart (my dad died in December, shortly before Christmas and one of my aunt's at Thanksgiving).

(I know, I've posted this photo of Dad in his really ugly Christmas pants, cousin David and my uncle Marty a lot, but it's just a happy thought and both Dad and Marty have moved on.)

A good my distress is grief -- not just my immediate family, but the recent death of Rick's cousin, whom I wrote about before on the Gypsy. This was compounded by news the other day of the death of one of my college roommate's husbands, which was shocking and sudden.

Maybe it’s a function of age; maybe it’s just that more people seem to die as the year draws to a close. (Have you ever noted the obituaries in November/December?) Perhaps it is simply because from the time school begins until the end of the year, our lives take on a more rapid pace with periodic family opportunities to acknowledge, like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah.

Grief is tough any time of year. But for me, and for those I’ve been closest to, it’s hardest in the fall and during the holiday season.

So, over on my other blog (the neglected child, "Chopsticks and String") I will offer the first of several periodic posts between now and the holidays about grieving – or preparing to grieve. And, I'll offer tips that can help you as you accompany someone you care about through their grieving journey.

I’ll include a “recipe of the heart” at the end of each and several topic-related tips. (The first recipe is for toasty roasty tomato soup!)

So, if this is a topic in which you have interest, visit Chopsticks and String. I'll let you know here on the Gypsy when a new topic and recipe are posted.


Annie said...

Dear Jeanie,

I deeply and truly understand what you are going through. I lost my mom two years ago this past October. The first holidays with her or dad did not feel real. When you have so much, so heavy on your heart and to have it all happen so close to the holidays, well, it just is never easy. I, for one will be checking in at Chopsticks and Strings regularly. Wishing you well, Annie

Naturegirl said...

Be gentle with yourself. Hold fast to the happy memories for they are the ones that will endure.Focus on the good times. love and light hugs NG

anno said...

I still love that picture of your dad, maybe even more the second time around! I'm glad you have such an empathetic family physician -- do be gentle with yourself as naturegirl adivses. Hope you are feeling better soon!

Herzblatt said...

Dear Jeanie,
I can`t understand everything you wrote about, but I am very sad about your post, because I understand most of the things and I feel unhappy. It is really a problem loosing people, you love. I read the obituaries every day and sometimes I am very shocked about the age people died. I feel with you! Hopefully you are in a better condition soon.

Herzblatt said...

Me again.
"I can`t understand" only means, that I am not able to translate every word!!

BONNIE K said...

Well I have to admit, that picture makes me smile. The oldsters in the picture just seem to be enjoying themselves (not so sure about the youngster!) and those pants of your dad -yeah, they make me laugh. You're dealing with a lot of stuff. I think if you felt better physically, it would be easier to cope, altho some of this stuff is never easy to cope with.
- wife of the youngster

Becca said...

Jeanie, I understand so many of these feelings you're going through right now. Sometimes the stress of trying to keep it all together on the outside for work and family obligations just gets to be too much, and then we find ourselves physically and emotionally drained.

I'm glad you were able to let go of some of those pent up emotions with your doctor.

I holding you in my heart right now :) Feel better!

Joanne Huffman said...

Although it's the time of year for endings, fall is still my favorite season; I guess because it's also a time of gatherings.


Beth Leintz said...

This is a tough time of year- so many expectations and memories- I think it's especially hard now because there's so much uncertainty about the future. I don't have any answers, but you're not alone.

PS I LOVE your Dad's pants- what a great memory!

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