Grief: The World Keeps Turning

Over the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve been hit with some pretty serious depression & anxiety.

Anxiety over the fact that I will die someday; so will the remaining loved ones in my family & circle of friends.

Depression from recalling it was 2 years ago during early October that I last saw my brother walk again. It was also when my mom’s diagnosis of stage 4 cancer came out, and she opted to forego any further treatment.

Despite this, I still have a business to build, classes to teach, students to aid, and skincare to sell. Friends & family are going about their business, tending to their lives & loved ones.

The world doesn’t stop just because I do.

(Not that I’m asking it to…just sayin’.)

A fellow grief friend, who also lost her mom last year, and I talked at length tonight. We talked about how none of this is personal. It’s not personal that my mom & brother suffered so badly. It’s not personal that people don’t remember to call & ask how we’re doing anymore.

Even so, both of us marveled at how the depression & sadness just comes out of nowhere, and completely debilitates us. She expressed it best, “I’m in shock at how utterly incapacitated I’ve become from these emotions. It just slams me.”

Me, too.

I’m reading a book in very small doses, by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It was his fist big seller, I think, called “Your Erroneous Zones”. He talks about how emotions lead to thoughts. He writes that beginning to take responsibility for one’s thoughts, and changing them, will lead to happiness, contentment, etc.

What I can’t figure out is when the thoughts are really unconscious. Is it possible for unconscious thoughts to still trigger emotions? Apparently, because that’s what seems to be happening to me. I don’t even know I’m feeling depressed, until I get so sleepy I can’t stay awake for no good reason. Then, I don’t even know what it’s about until I try to talk things out with someone.

I mean, I’ve been feeling blue for 2 weeks now, and it took me that long to put a finger on the time of year, and the events of the last two years in October. Because there’s no “event” like a birthday for my loved ones, I assumed it was not about them.

Yet, it always seems to be about them.

When I picked up the phone to dial my friend this afternoon, I told myself, “I’m just going to dive into these feelings, and embrace them. When I fully acknowledge them, then maybe they’ll pass.” Thankfully, I was right. I’m still feeling down, but way less so than earlier. Tears have been shed, mopes have been moped, and I feel a bit better. Honestly, I feel like giving myself a medal for taking the courage to talk about this stuff, with you & my pal today. It’s hard to face the reality of these kinds of feelings. It’s no fun, and generally nobody likes doing it.

So, I’m going to cheer myself up even more by writing out my gratitude list. (Not to push away the grief, but just transform it.) Many pals recently posted on their Facebook pages phrases like: “Life is not about having the most, but making the most out of everything you have.”

I’m really coming to this understanding now. I’m trying to make the most out of what I have. When I stay present, I can enjoy life & the colorful trees, and the crisp Autumn air. This especially applies to money. When I can trust & live life knowing my needs will be met, they are! Life is great, actually, when I can let it be.

So, here’s my list:

1) There’s a community of people out in the world that will always remember my brother & mom, and I’m lucky enough to share my memories with them.

2) The phonecall with my friend today was a gift from the heavens

3) Instead of running around the planet, running away from my grief, I’m staying in one place & facing it.

4) I have a home, and it’s heated.

5) I have a bed to sleep in.

6) My roommates are nice people.

7) Despite the new funky noises my pickup is starting to make, it keeps running.

8) The students who take my classes like the yoga I am teaching.

9) Made a nice connection with my brother this morning.

10) Had a delightful chat with a client about going “all natural” with skincare & shower products, etc.

And, there you have it. Life really is good. In fact, it’s great!!

Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Grief: The World Keeps Turning

  1. Chuck says:

    Hi Marissa, I lost my job recently (laid off? left it on bart?) another reminder of impermanence which I get in general is hard, I find it scary at times, the death thing, also a relief that I do not need to plan it, like put dying on my todo list, which is big enough. Lama Zopa talks about how we can’t avoid death and don’t know when it will come, so seek you path now, today, no time to lose as Pema wrote. I try to enjoy each moment while still getting stuff done. Yikes its a lot. Having a child changes it but the fundamental teachings are the same. How can I be present for Abhaya in this living moment, calmly abiding, with love and fun? Thanks! ck

    • marissa says:

      Hey Charles,

      So sorry to hear about your job!! Especially in times like this trusting the natural flow of life’s path is hard. Your words about not scheduling one’s death are funny but also real & wise. Being present helps a ton. I also feel that realness w/ my little nieces. Kids help so much with that.

      It’s amazing how attachments sneak up & take a choke-hold. I’m attached to my body, my life, my accomplishments, & (although I hate to admit it) what others think of me. Thanks for the great reminder! Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you re: job.

      Shanti,
      MK

  2. Mark says:

    Hey Lady, I really love how you are willing to just lay it on the line. Saying things that we all feel at some point but most people never share with others. It is what allowed me to feel a connection with you all along. Thank you for updates it really does allow me to still feel a deep connection even though the miles seperate us. Today’s update is keeping me entertained as I wait for Sammy to deliver a new little girl into this world we all share. We will have a little Miss Andy with us soon

    • marissa says:

      Mark!

      So good to hear from you! Thanks for your kind & sweet words. Being back in the Midwest for almost a year (can you believe it???) reminds me that I come from The Land of Straight Talkers. It’s refreshing but sometimes hard to be on the receiving end of. It’s humbling o recall West Coast-ers reactions to my plainspeak.

      Please give Sammy my love! Hopefully by now you are a Great Uncle!!

      Big Midwestern Hugs,
      MK

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