Grief *or* Pushing Through When Life Gets Hard

4 11 2010

Current Habit: Exercising, Day 11

Sophie: I have found that there is an excuse for everything.  The most common reason that our good-intentions aren’t enough is that life got in the way somehow.  “I got sick”, “I was really busy at work”, “I’m just too tired” blah blah blah.  I even, for the first time in my life, established a pretty solid workout routine last summer: Do whatever I want to workout, but my minimum was to run/walk 2 miles every other day.  And it worked!  For 6 weeks….except that week my best friend came in town to visit….AND that week I got sick…which ended it altogether, because I didn’t really “get better” for another 2 weeks (you know, the residual sick).

The point is, there is always something, and the excuses are only going to hurt me.  This is what I had to repeat when, on Day 1 of exercising, I found out that Boyfriend’s grandmother was dying (we really only had about one week’s notice that she was even sick – stage 4 breast cancer).  I’ve been with Boyfriend for 4 1/2 years…his family is pretty much my family, and I love his grandmother very much.  It hit me really hard.  On top of that, this meant we would be dropping everything to make the 4 hour drive to her hospice the next day, and spent who-knows-how-many days out of town.  Of course, at this time, I’m overcome with grief.  I’m also jumping into my game plan – “I’ll work out before we leave tomorrow, bring workout clothes and weights with me for Wednesday’s workout, and we’ll probably be back by Thursday.”  Admittedly, if it weren’t for the blog, that thought would have been “So much for working out, I’ll start it next week.”  But that’s the point – making room for it, because life is ALWAYS happening, you just have to plan ahead to enable follow-through with this stuff.

So I worked out Tuesday morning, we drove to the hospice, and we spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday with her.  She passed away at 3:00 Wednesday afternoon.  We drove back to Dallas shortly after.  Correction – I drove.  I held it together through driving 4 hours, dropping Boyfriend off at home, going to my parent’s house to pick up Rufus, driving BACK to Boyfriend’s place, and suffering through a 30 minute workout that seemed like torture, before I finally got to sit down and grieve at 9:30 on Wednesday night.  I haven’t experienced the death of a loved one as an adult, so it was exceptionally hard on me.  It’s been over a week and I’m still depressed…and (of course) now I’m sick too.  I could just make that another excuse, or I can be reminded why we are doing this: To live the best life possible, and be the person I want to be.  Losing a loved one only reinforces that.  At the end of the day, I would rather have a list of accomplishments than one of excuses.  So I’d like to end this post with a toast to Grandma:

To the woman who:

  • Graduated from clown school at age 63
  • Took her grandson to Cancun at 64 (We have a wonderful picture of her at Senor Frogs)
  • Went skydiving at 69
  • Went to the Glenn Beck rally in D.C. at 73, just 2 months before passing away
  • Never cared what anyone else thought about her
  • Went dancing every week until she went into the hospital
  • Was surrounded by a ton of loved ones until the very last day

You lived an inspirational life, and I am lucky to have known you.

Cheers.

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4 responses

5 11 2010
amna

Im sorry for your loss Sophie. I lost my mother to cancer when I was about 25, and she was my whole world. It has been 7 years. I am finding peace and in bits and pieces. I am so proud of you that you managed to keep your cool and carried on with your day. I never knew how to grieve for a loved one..we are not taught this imporant life saving skill. If I knew how to deal with the pain, I would have been..well, better.sigh
I allow excuses to take over my life, maybe for 21 days I should live without excuses and just be it..NO!!can’t do that. Not that strong.
Cheers to you.

6 11 2010
Sophie

Thank you for your sympathy. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have lost a parent. I agree that grief is a skill we should have been taught – I’ve thought that many times over the last week. My parents shielded me from the pain of the death of my own grandparents as a kid by not really enabling me to see them once they got sick. It’s a necessary part of life! We should be prepared somehow…

“Maybe for 21 days I should live without excuses” – I love this! That’s actually kind of what we are doing! I mean, for 3 weeks there is no option to make excuses for not doing whatever the current habit is. It’s just applying *no excuses* to one thing at a time. Trust me, if we can do this, you definitely can.

10 11 2010
jaswrites

Hello Sophie,
Found your blog today and read through this post. Very sorry for your loss. But remember, when God takes (which he never really does), he gives as well.
Try “All is Well” whenever you feel neglected or down or worried. Perhaps this should better explain that concept:
http://jaswrites.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/all-izz-well-and-why-i-like-it-so-much/

10 11 2010
Sophie

What a wonderful mantra. Thank you for the suggestion! I think this will be good to incorporate into our next habit of Meditating/Doing Yoga every day.

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