It’s so easy to lose myself in my grief. It starts so small as I avoid the family-focused church events and the company family picnic. At cocktail parties, when the discussions turn to grandbabies or graduations, I slip away, pretending to be invisible as I cozy up to the food table. I politely decline invitations to showers, then weddings, then milestone birthday parties. I tell myself I’d rather spend a quiet weekend at home than hang out with family or friends who might inadvertently sprinkle salt onto my wounds.
While I strongly believe in the importance of taking myself to a quiet place to work through my grief over my losses, lately I’ve been more aware of how I’ve isolated myself. And I’m starting to feel that it’s no longer healthy.
Maybe it’s time I rejoin society.
Maybe you’re starting to think about it too.
Wow. Just writing that is a little scary, but also a little exciting.
“You have a lot of life left!” I tell myself. Years, maybe decades, if I’m lucky. There are things I want to do, adventures I want to experience. There are classes I want to take, and foods I want to taste. I also have a wellspring of love to give, and it’s starting to brim over.
I think maybe I can do this.
This week I’m going to think about who I might see and what I might do. I could call up that gal in book club who I think is funny and invite her to meet me for coffee. She should be “safe”, because we’re likely to spend the whole time talking about books we love. Or I could invite one of my work colleagues, who I know also doesn’t have kids, to join me for lunch out, to talk about work stuff. Or I could call an old friend I haven’t seen for a while and see if she wants to meet up for a movie (meaning we’d barely have to talk at all).
The point is I’d be getting myself up, dressed, and out the door. It will probably take some time for me to feel fully myself again, but I’m ready to try, to ease in, to take those first small steps.
Are you ready to break out of isolation? If so, take my hand, take a deep breath, and let’s do this.