I'd gone outside to be with the sense of grief inside me, instead of watching something or distracting myself. With moonlight and fireflies, though, the beauty of the night sat with me.
Since naming the heaviness on me, i feel a little more comfortable with it. My sister gave me another term yesterday, sisu, yet another one of these Scandinavian terms that seem to be trending across lifestyle websites. Finnish sisu is something i recognize: it's how i got through the couple of years of the terrible Director at work (official date 2011-05-11, but the months before that were colored with the coming change), then the couple of years after Christine's Elephants arrived. And before the merger of the Minnow with the Whale -- the couple of years i was the operations manager and essentially on call the whole time. It wasn't until after the merger with the Whale that i could put the pager down and actually sleep through all nights.
Between being moved out of management and moving to the eastern timezone, so much weight dropped off my shoulders. The Meeting here doesn't have the weight of concerns like that of the large Meeting i attended in California, partly because they have just come through the fire of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting schism. Christine's elephants are getting smaller and less demanding.
I've not needed to practice sisu since moving, really, and even Mom's stroke isn't demanding much from me, sisu-wise. But there are emotional things going on, and i think part of that is from the habit of sisu. Pushing perseverance requires certain coping strategies, and wrapping discomforts like sorrow, pain, and grief in fireproof blankets to keep going: i am good at that. But i also know the cost of that, as well. And right now i don't need to avoid my feelings about my parent's change of being.
What i don't know is what to do with these feelings when they aren't mummified. It feels like an infection. I'm fine, i could take on whatever. But in the absence of that all consuming critical whatever, this throbbing heavy lump and the sense of malaise is very distracting.
I wanted to see if i had a grief tag, and type ahead supplied the gratitude tag. Maybe that's a way through.
I am grateful to be here, to be able to see Mom and Dad in a day to day setting and know the details of what they are going through. I am grateful that i don't need to worry that this is going to overwhelm Dad beyond his capabilities (although i do wish he wasn't leaning on his sisu practice so hard). I am thankful for Christine's compassion, and for her spoon-management yesterday: she was able to be present at dinner with Dad without needing her shields up. I'm thankful for Carrie and the gift of dog-love and joy and energy she can give my parents.
I celebrate Christine's evolution in elephant wrangling, and the new additional project she's taking on.
I am grateful for the terrifying opportunity i will likely have on April 22nd, at work. I am terrified, and i know it's happening as i need to push the working group to be prepared for the meeting we will have in Estonia in mid June. I am thankful i used the time in March when everything was a lull to make my journey plans.