Grief beckons in strange ways.  Tiredness can set in and weigh you down, sapping your strength and draining your motivation.  It can distract your brain and nearly eliminate your ability to concentrate or focus on tasks.

My beloved son died a couple years ago, then this year my dad died and then my mom in quick succession. It was with some relief that my dad left this world after living for nearly fifteen years with Alzheimer’s disease. He wasn’t really living anymore and it was tremendously stressful for my mother to care for him.  It was challenging for me to find time several times a week to go help them.  My mother moved in with me in January when he left us, then at the end of June, she left this world quite by surprise.

Logically, I believed it was better that she left while she was still living, before the suffering set in, pervading more of her time.  She was still living that last week, dancing, going to tai chi, painting, and helping me with cooking and cleaning.

The aftermath is challenging.  I have days of brain-fog, hours of heavy tiredness, and other times of irritability, while I try to maintain my responsibilities, postponing grief. Thank god it doesn’t demand constant work, then I’d be a basket case!!  LOL!

Before my mother’s death, cooking was my strength.  I might feel tired of it at times, but I was good at it.  After my son’s death, I could not cook at all for a while, feeling overwhelmed with grief.  After my mother’s death, I get started and then feel very stressed trying to keep track of the steps, the ingredients, and the timing.  To heck with trying to talk with someone at the same time, or keep track of what my children are doing!

Our culture doesn’t appreciate the homemakers among us, nor does it sufficiently appreciate those of us humans who cook for others after work.  The longer I have cooked, the more I have appreciated others cooking for me and this grief lesson has accentuated my appreciation for others who cook for me.

I miss my mom and that quality time we spent together in the kitchen.  Today was sort-through-her-things-day and my sisters did it while I worked.  It leaves me aching to watch her things go to the St. Vincent de Paul, to watch my sisters glibly rush the process of disposing of her belongings.

In what ways do you feel overwhelmed or underappreciated?  What losses in your life leave you trying to cope with grief? How does grief impact you, change you, or cause you to struggle?

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