Oi vey. September. Here again already.
September used to be my favorite month. When asked my favorite season I used to say fall. When asked my favorite time of year I used to answer with September, the month of my birth.
When Oscar died September 11, 2015, that all changed. How could it not?
This year over the deathday week I am taking my Lane kids to the Pacific Northwest, where their lives all began, to bury the ashes of their father, Nick.
Last year, on September 16th two Overland Park police officers knocked on my front door with the news that Nick had died. It was revealed the next day when I spoke with the detective assigned to his case, that he had died of suicide.
We believe he died on Oscar’s deathday, September 11.
It took the better part of six months for Nick’s family and I to decide what/ how to best honor his memory. At the end of April, we all finally came to an understanding that his memorial service needed to happen during the deathday week- it was my suggestion that we honor him on the deathday itself. Since then all of the arrangements have slowly been coming together.
We are attempting to frame this week not as “grief week” but instead as “healing week”. The Lane family is going to once again attempt to put the “fun” in “fun”eral…
I have felt myself pulling way way in over the past several weeks. It started at the first brush of cooling fall air on my skin during August. This round of grieving has once again made it clear who is with me and who is against me. That is an extremely simplified expression of what is a somewhat complicated human response, but it seems fitting to me. When someone tells you that “you are smarter than that” when it comes to having your grief hijack your emotions it seems fairly obvious that the person is not with you. Truly that last thing you need to hear when you are suddenly overcome with grief is that you should somehow “know better”.
Grief is a visceral response to an impossible change in your reality.
There is no thought involved whatsoever.
That experience has helped me, though, once again, to understand myself alongside my grief with a touch more clarity. This is truly something that I feel my way through. And I feel that I am becoming a little bit better all the time at navigating it.
I have been focusing on my self-care more than usual. The basics: exercise, eating nutritiously, sleep, prayer, meditation, bathing regularly. I have also started a new course of mental wellness products which are focused on balancing the Gut-Brain Axis. I think they are helping because instead of feeling completely emotionally spent with zero energy constantly (which is usually where I live this time of year- all the way through until after the New Year) I feel… okay.
Feeling okay is a miracle.
This year I am giving myself permission to enjoy Fall. It is worth a try.