Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

It was a good weekend but I did not get enough rest and I did not get enough sleep. Note to self: During vacation, sleep at least 10 hours every night starting Friday the 18th until Saturday the 26th. Still, it was time to head back to work this morning. I dutifully got up and made lunches, packed my school bag, and headed to school. My classes went by quickly enough and the two hour session of professional development work began and ended. It was time to head home. After a quick stop for a few groceries on the way, my husband and I pulled into the garage. That's when it hit me. Grief.

I have to cut myself a break. I am tired--physically, emotionally, and mentally. I need to treat myself with a little compassion. It has been only five days since I lost my precious pup. But the funny thing is, it's been long enough to know that shedding tears at work is not appropriate. And I am pretty sure that it's time to end the chatter about feeling sad when I communicate with friends. I should probably put to rest the subject here on my blog too. Right?

But seeing that this is MY blog, I will continue to go where my heart and mind take me when I sit down to write. And today, I'm thinking about what a struggle it is to remain upright and on top of things. I feel like I am losing my hold on everything. I am thinking about how badly I miss her. I am thinking of how I need to find my way past this grief and this sorrow, but I also know that taking time to feel the pain is a natural part of the process.

But falling apart when you have three children who need you at home, and 100 teens who need you at school, is not really an option. Today when I got choked up at the realization that no, Charlie did not need to be let out now that we were home, that no, there was no longer a need for me to keep that tin of treats in the bottom of the pantry, that no, I didn't have my girl beside me to throw a piece of chicken to or following me up the stairs to go to bed, I found myself thinking of a little blue fish named Dory.

In the Disney movie Finding Nemo, a father fish named Marlin meets a little blue fish with short term memory loss. Amusingly voiced by comedienne Ellen Degeneres, the little blue fish named Dory is the animated film's comic relief. While looking for his lost son Nemo, Marlin is in great despair. Dory offers him a little advice:

Dory: When life gets you down do you wanna know what you've gotta do?
Marlin: No I don't wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.

I realize it is up to me to work through this grief. Time will ease the pain, of this I am sure. In the meantime I need to let the waves of tears ebb and flow as they need to. I have found myself hearing Dory's advice in my head for a couple of weeks now. It seems to be good advice for life must go on and there's much for me to do and many for me to care for. However, I have to admit; my fins are getting tired.

1 comment:

  1. "Finding Nemo" is a great flick, and Dory is a great character.

    I sometimes find it amazing that we keep swimming, but if we stopped, we'd drown in the pressures and sadness and frustrations of life.

    You should actually consider yourself lucky that tears come so easily for you. They don't for me. Unfortunately, I generally deal with (or maybe I don't deal with) my grief by getting angry or cranky. I am, however, finally learning to communicate my negative feelings in a constructive way, either through writing or actually explaining to someone how I feel.

    Keep swimming, Anne. Doing so will eventually take you where you need to go.