I do what I have to do

leaves-plants-river-87812Throw back Thursday: I wrote this essay back on March 20, 2018 when I was in a different grieving stage. 

I keep going to my playlist for initial comfort, as somehow the lyrics to certain songs make me feel closer to him. It’s almost as if through these songs I understand him and his pain better, or maybe I’m understanding my own pain better.  The song that I am stuck on is Sarah McLachlan’s “Do what you have to do.” the mood, along with the lyrics speak perfectly to my heart and my pain.

“What ravages of spirit conjured this tempestuous rage

Created you a monster broken by the rules of love

And fate has led you through it

You do what you have to do

And fate has led you through it

You do what you have to do

 

And I have the sense to recognize that

I don’t know how to let you go

 

Every moment marked With apparitions of your soul

I’m ever swiftly moving Trying to escape this desire

The yearning to be near you

I do what I have to do

The yearning to be near you

I do what I have to do

 

And I have the sense to recognize that

I don’t know how to let you go

I don’t know how to let you go

 

A glowing ember Burning hot And burning slow

Deep within I’m shaken by the violence Of existing for only you

I know I can’t be with you

I do what I have to do

I know I can’t be with you

I do what I have to do

And I have sense to recognize but

I don’t know how to let you go

You can’t get any more direct than these words. I do what I have to do, I know I can’t be hear him, but I still yearn for him. It doesn’t matter what he did in the past or the chances of our future together, all that matters is he is not here anymore and as things drop off of my ‘to do’ list I find that I have more time to realize just how empty the world feels without him in it.

As I continue on this bridge to acceptance, I’m learning that grief is a world within a world. There is the outside world that is spinning, running, doing, living. Within that world, there is the grieving realm, which also consists of things getting done, but at a slower and almost belabored pace. This is the “do what you have to do” part that Sarah so eloquently sings. From the outside looking in, no one would suspect that there is this appendage attached to me, like a heavy, wet blanket draped over my shoulders that I drag around wherever I go. As if living in the grieving world isn’t hard enough, there is the fact that you have to still interact with the outside world and answering the stagnant question of “how are you?” I sometimes want to say “do you want the short, socially acceptable answer, or the long and drawn out one?

The short answer “I’m still here”

The long answer “I’m in pain, I’m sad. I cry at odd times. I think about him a lot and really miss him. On the outside I look fine, but the inside is a mess right now. I’m finding it hard to get excited about anything this year… so yeah… that’s how I am.” I usually just stick with the short answer, as it makes others feel better.

I’m still floating in the denial/depressions stage. I had this thought that as things started to drop off my list, such as the selling, thank you cards, etc.. I would feel better somehow, but I’m realizing that grieving has its own schedule, it’s own path, it’s own timeline. I may ‘plan’ when I feel I should be better, but as they say …best laid plans…

I keep thinking about how he (we) loved to go down to Lehman’s Amish hardware store and along the way we would stop at some antique shops. I keep thinking back to our Hartville visit with my family in December 2017 and on the way back we stopped at this antique store that was full of so much stuff  you had to carefully walk through the paths and make sure you didn’t knock anything over. He got a kick out of going to antique stores. He would always look for the old fashioned Christmas lights to give to his brother Fred, if they were reasonably priced of course. It’s such a warm and happy memory for me and I find I want to call him up and ask him when we are going back. I just want to talk to him. I just want to go back to the ignorance I had last fall, because at least he was still around, and we had our future before us.

I can’t change the past. I can only look to a blank future right now. I know I can’t be with him, so I’ll do what I have to do. I will let the outside world spin, while the inside grief keeps me cold under this wet blanket with a mind and heart of its own.

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