Sometimes grieving looks like eating 4 cold pop tarts instead of going for a walk.
Soon after moving this May I met a woman named Sara. We were introduced, I gave her a business card with my number and said I’d love to walk with her and her dog anytime. She texted me a day or so later and we were off. She lived pretty much at the end of my street, a 3 minute walk. She led me around the trails by my apartment, for an hour or two, almost every other day, and we bared our souls as only two strangers who feel a connection can. I told her about my break-up, she told me about her breakdown. We talked about families and friends and being in our 40s. We talked about apologies and lies and if we knew who we really were. We shared secrets that are hard to tell to people who knew you “then.” She was struggling with some major life changes, but seemed to be moving forward, making decisions, trying to be excited about having a life ahead that was commitment free.
Last Thursday I texted her, her family was in town, and I had been away for a few days, and wanted to make sure she was doing okay and if she wanted to go for a walk. She replied, and yes, a walk soon sounded good. She was counting down to everyone leaving on Sunday. She had a rock/gem collection and we had talked about taking some on our walks to leave for people to find. I was looking forward to stashing those on our next get-together.
Friday at noon I recieved a call. Sara had killed herself that morning.
No one I have talked with knows what could have happened between her watching movies with a friend late Thursday night, and her decision that morning. No one was emailed. No note. And no sign that she was in the kind of anguish that meant this was her only choice. She was making plans. She had help. Energetically, I never once picked up on absolute despair. She’s a statistic now. And there’s a Sara sized hole in my heart.
I started reading a book (to be honest, I don’t think it’s very good, but… whatever) called “The Practical Neuroscience of Buddha’s Brain” (it’s not as heavy as it sounds, AT ALL)… but what I like about it is that it explains how, by consciously focusing on “good” moments, we are actually laying down a neural path that we can refer back to. If we let these moments slip by without noting them, it’s harder to access these happy memories when we need to be lifted up.
I’m trying hard to to do this more and more. Step back and pause and actually say to myself “This is a Good Moment.” Archive it and Index it. Something that I can find again when my anxious nature starts snowballing. It seems to be working. I’ve pulled myself out of some downward spirals recently, and stopped myself from making assumptions and panicking… maybe there is something to this whole “being present” thing after all.
On another topic, when I turned the page in my planner to August there was note saying “Start Advent Calendar” — hoooo-boy. Guess I need to kick my creative side in the butt soon.
Apparently they are off seeking their fortune… I don’t blame them… I’m sure they will be back with stories to tell…
In the meantime I am tackling some loons this evening… still planning for my starry skies….
I’m going to start another series of starry skies soon… today I focused on fish… it’s been so hot this summer, and I’ve been in the water so much, it’s no wonder they are on my brain!
I am still recovering from all the extroverting at the Craft Fair on Saturday… I had no words left by the time I got home that night, and I still feel a little dazed…
In the meantime, here’s a pig that was wandering up and down my street this morning. Welcome to Vermont, where no one in the neighborhood batted an eye at this.
I think I may have learned my lesson about procrastinating.