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January 1, 2013

Reflection on Recovery

So much for good intentions.
I plan an apt post for New Year.
I visualise the photos I want to use in a reflective essay.
I scour my files for them and note their vital statistics.
I'll get this started on Christmas Day and give myself plenty of time, I think to myself, knowing how the last few busy months have made regular blogging almost impossible.

As I gather in the events and feelings that have made this year memorable for me, I realise that far from treading water - as it feels in the passing - I have met challenges and progressed through emotional healing, while getting on with the quite ordinary business of Life.

This time last year I was celebrating New Year in the jet stream, somewhere high above the Indian Ocean after a month spent in England and Northern Ireland. In a post I wrote on  arrival home - Leaving - I mentioned the sense of having re-set my emotional clock. 

How much did that matter? Did it make a difference in the grand scheme of things? Whatever, 2012 has certainly been a better year for me than 2011 was.  The gradual process of redevelopment associated with Canterbury's Earthquake rebuild feels like a metaphor for my own recovery from Bereavement. Some processes speed ahead while others stall after promising beginnings, and others make no apparent advances at all.  But overall, there is a feeling that the deep grief, the incapacity to function normally, the urge to pack up and leave, is behind us - and me.

I have noticed that over the past three months the fog that impaired my mental function has lifted. I realise how little I had been taking in - not just people's names but people's faces and identities; how I shied away from accountability - hoping someone else would know what needed doing better than me; how technical detail was too much to understand - hampering learning about any new equipment; how lethargy, tiredness and lack of motivation made three acres and two high maintenance old houses more than I could cope with. Around the second anniversary of Elwin's death in November, I noticed a return of interest in managing and planning projects. This was such a relief especially as I actually started working in the garden. I also noticed that I no longer felt 'widowed' which isn't to say that I didn't feel the loss because the yearning for Elwin's company seemed stronger than ever as I was able to gradually remember what life had been like before Death.

In spite of that fog though, there has been plenty to be pleased about throughout this year. My children, acknowledging their own growth through adversity and continuing to shine in their Drama activities. Opening my online Etsy shop - Dunedin Street - and making international sales! Making myself a new personal space in a re-vamped bedroom, and making landscaping improvements around the Secret Garden. 

Right now though as the Midnight stroke draws near I am cursing both my computer and Blogger, knowing that there are reasons for and answers to annoying glitches (a little screen that disables my text while it asks me if I want to log in again - over and over again) and after all that preparation with photos a week ago, I still cannot post them.   So this is a wordy essay not just about the past year, but a continuing chapter in recording my passage through bereavement. 

Time now to let the Old Year out of the back door and the New Year in at the Front with a glass of something to toast you all.

Happy New Year!