Six weeks, 4 days

I find the fatigue associated with grief to be almost completely debilitating at times. I’m shocked at just how profoundly tired I am most days. I don’t know whether I’m tired, or sick or sad. Or maybe it’s a nasty cocktail of all or some of those. I’m physically sore as well, all day, but most of all when I’m trying to sleep. I wasn’t actually prepared for this part. I imagined sad, teary days but being able to manage life other than that. What I am finding is that it is a real struggle to get up when I am still so tired, and push through when the discomfort just won’t let up. My eyes feel puffy and unfocussed. I’m doing exercise, accupuncture, physiotherapy and I’m trying to mediate (although this is going to be a lifelong project, not an instant fix) and I want to get to more yoga. I’m told the yoga and meditation are key, so perhaps I’ll swing more of my focus that way over the coming weeks.

In an effort to try to see forward, I’ve booked a cruise to Alaska. I’ll go in three weeks. I’ve never done that, and I’m going alone —  very happily. I’ve had no personal time for reflection and healing and I like the idea of being able to do this alone, but surrounded by about 2,000 other people, in case I feel the need to reach out for conversation. I like the fact that on a cruise, you needn’t think about what to eat, it’s just there. Food is really important to me in terms of quality and variety, so a ship offers a great option to preparing it myself.  I likely won’t be able to resist writing and staying in touch via Facebook.

I’ll take my books, my binoculars, camera, tripod and my iPad and snuggle in to a self-centred routine for 7 days. I’m excited about seeing some birds I don’t know about, maybe even photographing them. I am an accidental birder, but a fanatic all the same.

I’m using the coming summer to “get a grip” so that I can launch myself into the fall — with new teaching commitments and new projects — with some kind of renewed energy. I’m thinking of it as getting some momentum built up so I can head up hill again with greater strength. My daughter, son and daughter-in-law will all go to Tofino for 4 days in July as well. We had a fabulous trip there during storm season last November with Ray. We want to revisit that trip as a family and have a bit of a group healing in this magical place.

It’s interesting how “getting away” seems to be an important part of healing. Maybe it’s to create new memories or to get away from old ones. I wonder who else has found this to be helpful.

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