Grief and energy

alisandeAugust 27, 2004

My lawn has become a sort of barometer for my emotional state. My daughter died on Memorial Day, 2001. At the same time, her father's dementia had begun to reach the point where he could no longer accomplish his usual chores. That first summer, I let the lawn go completely; I didn't mow the grass at all. The second summer, I did the same. It looked awful, but I didn't care. And I had so many other things to deal with.

Last summer I bought a push mower with electric start because I found I could no longer pull the cord on our other one. I kept the lawn mowed, more or less, but it was a struggle. I couldn't seem to figure out the mower, and I'd let the grass get so long that the clippings would build up and stall it. This year I can almost say I have mowing down to a science. It's not a manicured lawn by any means, but it looks decent most of the time. And I keep the mower charged and ready to go. I've also begun restoring some of the old flower gardens.

I don't feel anywhere near as energetic as I used to, but the evolution of this one task makes me realize that I'm progressing. I'm not as young as I used to be, either. There's no doubt that grief, like any form of depression, saps strength big time. But we can hope to get it back.


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So very true, Susan. I'm finding that I am starting to have more and more motivation/energy as time goes on. I am doing a lot of things now that I have put off for a long time. I'm finally really wanting to do things and not doing them just because I think they HAVE to be done.
I admire you for keeping up a yard. I wouldn't mind doing some of that kind of stuff myself, but my husband has never wanted me to. I guess I should be grateful, but I really don't think I would mind cutting the grass sometimes.
I hope that you can continue to make progress. For those of you just starting out in grief, it really does get better.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 12:07AM
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Susan, i agree that grief does sap your strength and motivation. i also think you can feel so distracted, some things just lose their importance. every single chore can take such an effort and require energy you simply dont have. i am glad you tackled this again and i am sure you feel some accomplishment to getting this under control. my husband usually cuts the grass here, but when he is out of town, or like last week, he hurt his back, i did tackle it for him. its not as easy using a push mower like you are using that has no power so my hat is off to you and your energy.


    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 6:06AM
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Love your analogy! You really have a lot to deal with. I wish my Mom had had a support group when my father was dealing with dementia. It was agony for all.
By the way, my riding mower is the greatest therapy!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 9:47AM
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I know how it is to lose interest in all your daily activities... when someone passes.. especially when that someone meant the world to you. I have not been to the pool since he passed.. I usually go 4 days a week and take a special nutrition/losing weight class as well. I have done none of these.. I have not cooked a real dinner in a while. My DH is easy to please, but, this is not like me. I'm planning on pulling myself together and going on Monday, August 30th... I want to push forward.. and deal with my tears as they come. You know how things will remind you of your loved one and you just start to cry again.. it's difficilt not to.

I need to take care of my health.. especially since I found out my brother, John, always worried about me.. I had not known that.. see, I have Lupus and he was more worried about me than himself.. why oh why.. Especially since I would have asked God to let me trade places with him.. so he could have a full life.. (I guess that's the bargaining part)... He was a good hearted Man.. I wanted him to have children some day... he wanted children...

    Bookmark   August 28, 2004 at 11:46PM
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Good for you Susan!!

I've tried to be active everyday but sometimes It's so hard just to get out of bed. I'm normally always on the go and have a energetic career but I just cant get myself to get out and do it. We've gone for walks and bike rides a few times but it does seem to drain me. It shouldn't because I'm only 22 years old. Before Bryce died I started on a garden and everything at our new house. But that kind of went to s***. We planned on doing so much but none of it has happened. I hope it gets easier as time goes on like everyone says. Right now I just can't imagine that it will.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 12:17AM
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There's a French addage that goes like this:
Petit a petit
L'oiseau fait son nid.

Little by little
The bird builds its nest.

So one twig at a time....things will come together!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 8:23PM
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Oh you are so right. Some things just do lose their importance. The dust will always be there.. enjoy your family more. I told my son and his wife to get out and enjoy each others company today. Let the dust in the house sit and do it another day.. just enjoy each other.. She, my DIL, did not get it.. my son did, because he too is grieving over the loss of my brother who is his Uncle... and was a mentor to him in his field of Business and work. How much they were alike... and yet, they quibbled so much with each other.. My son cried so hard over his loss.. too.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2004 at 12:18AM
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