Thursday, August 18, 2011

18th August

I keep thinking that I could be rather more purposeful in the way I’m living. Maybe I could start work on my house, and I have a choice of several different mini-projects, mostly decorating, to engage with. But I really can’t face it with any degree of enthusiasm just yet no matter how desperate the need. And the garden has been pretty much untouched by me since last year; my son with just a little guidance is keeping things under control right now… but all I see are memories of Jane and the countless hours over 32 years that we enjoyed being out there. We’ve been camping, done loads of BBQ’s, had dinner parties and birthday parties and bonfire parties, enjoyed countless romantic evenings for two with a glass of wine and fine food, made music, built snowmen, had water-fights, painted pictures, entertained friends and family, had fun with children and then grandchildren, played tennis and badminton and boules and cricket and football and frisbee and rounders, we were once self-sufficient in fruit and most veg and even had it filled with flowers now and again. But Jane was most recently stirring me to construct a new patio area… she really wanted somewhere to sit part way down the garden in the shade and with some shelter. It all feels a bit much right now even just walking down the lawn. Maybe next year I’ll feel different.

And I have several opportunities to either serve or simply support my church in specific ways. Perhaps that might do me good as it’s something I really enjoy and consider important and that would put some purpose back in my life. But every time I come close to engaging again I find myself struggling, it’s as though I need a complete break from every responsibility. I gave myself so completely to caring for Jane that I feel completely burnt out with nothing more to give at the moment. For sure I will heal and in time I will be able to pick my life up again but not today. Maybe tomorrow. Though I do start feeling a little guilty for not supporting others in the work they’re doing; but I have to look at the bigger picture. My focus has to be on my own mental health and working through this season of grieving is the only responsibility I can cope with at the moment. But I am confident it is only for a season as I feel very different 3 months after losing Jane compared with say even a month ago. I am making progress and at times feel a lightness in my spirit once again.

I can’t remember giving myself exclusive attention since I was a teenager. I’ve never ‘done my own thing’ since then and just now I need time out. Whilst I can’t imagine remaining disconnected from all activity for too much longer I am determined to avoid any major decisions and pick up only short term responsibilities for a good while yet. And, as the Bible does talk about newlyweds giving themselves time to adapt to their new circumstances before becoming busy in other ways, I’ve been wondering about how long it might take to adapt to not being married after bereavement. I need to learn to be single again. I cannot have the special marriage I enjoyed become a ball and chain for the rest of my life. I have to learn to think and live differently and that takes time.   

Deuteronomy 24:5 ’A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.’ (NLT)

No comments: