Carry On

You wake up early, determined you will carry on, enjoy your coffee, write, take a walk in the snow.
Something pushes you down when you suddenly remember your daughter has deemed you crazy.
You want to call your mother but she is dead.

The cat comes to sit with you, your heart begins to calm. She will want her treat soon so you can’t stay down for long.

Sleep study results, low ferritin levels

I completed a sleep study a few weeks ago due to ongoing fatigue. Even though I’ve felt I am a good sleeper, doc wanted me to do it. Results show I don’t need a CPAC machine. I did have three cycles of REM sleep. We all should have three to four per night. I’m not a big snorer. (Good to know if I ever have a partner again, but don’t really want one). However, the doc said I have a lot of limb movement. She ordered a ferritin test. The test came back very low. Ferritin is what stores iron. This indicates iron deficiency. My hemoglobin levels are fine, which can indicate anemia. From what I’m reading it’s an iron deficiency without anemia. It does explain my fatigue, brain fogginess, shortness of breath and just not on top of my game. Yesterday was a good day. Today, I don’t want to get out of bed. I’m bored though, so thought I would tell all of you about ferritin levels and the like.

I do have an appointment with a hematologist in a little over a week. The doctor mentioned they may want to do an iron transfusion. My thought was, bring it on, shoot me up, give me some energy. Of course, with most medical procedures there are side effects.

Meantime, I have been to a naturopath. She has given me lots of goodies, supplements that should address many of my symptoms. I’ll give it the good ole girl scout try. Getting iron into my diet along with Vitamin C which helps absorb it. Steak, kale, spinach, a good juicy burger, dried apricots, pumpkin seeds, oranges, cream of wheat have been on the menu as of late. Milk products are not good for iron deficiency, so cutting back on cheese. Ok coffee isn’t good either, but I’m in denial about that one. It’s my greatest pleasure in the morning. Those of you who know me, know that! I’ve lost a lot the last few years, some of my greatest loves. It’s a loss that does not have a social acceptable ritual in which to grieve. It’s an isolating, lonely grief. My heart is certainly working overtime to process this grief. It must take a lot of iron to do grief.

I keep taking care of the grief too. It will never go away so I will honor it. This Thursday I begin an eight week online writing class, Love, Grief and Heartache. The instructor has contacted us and asked each of us to reply all to a few questions she asked. Already, I can tell it will be full of connection, heartache and healing.

“Sorrow helps us remember something long intuited by indigenous people across the planet: our lives are intricately commingled with one another, with animals, plants, watersheds and soil.” “Our broken hearts have the potential to open us up to a wider sense of identity, one capable of seeing through the partitions that have segregated self from the world. Through grief, we are initiated into a more inclusive conversation between our singular lives and the soul of the world.” The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller

You will hear more of this as the class progresses and writings emerge. Thanks for reading. If you didn’t know about ferritin levels now you do.

Just to get it out.

When you’ve made mistakes, done things that would cause others to deem you crazy, but you own up to those mistakes, quit drinking, take full responsibly, keep soul searching, but realize others may have lost faith in you, you don’t drink, you take responsibility and cry. You miss your child, you miss your grandchildren. And since there is not an appropriate way to grieve this, there is not a funeral, I can’t post pictures of my child and grandchildren saying how much I miss them. I write a blog post, just to get it out! Sometimes that’s all there is.

Rituals

We all have individual rituals. If I miss my morning coffee ritual, which doesn’t happen often, my whole day is thrown off. I have a couple friend, who take a nap every afternoon for 15 minutes with the timer set. Another friend, does yoga daily. We now have the ritual of picking out the perfect face mask for the store outing. All of these help us feel grounded and add to our individuality.

Then there are the collective rituals; weddings, birthdays, bat mitzvahs, baby showers, graduations, baptisms, cheering on a sports team, dancing at a concert, Friday prayers and funerals to name a few. In participating in these, we bond, we are allowed to express emotions in socially acceptable ways. We can feel relief, inspired, connected and full of love sometimes during rituals. All these rituals will come back and certainly some new ones are being created at this moment. I’ve had a couple of 6  feet apart lunches outdoors with a friend. That’s a new one. Zoom conversations and workshops.

A few years ago, I became estranged from my daughter and grandchildren. It’s been a lonely grief process at times. Aside from my friends, who have held me, listened, and loved me. I certainly felt at a loss for an appropriate way to express my emotions at times. It’s not the kind of grief that is talked about often. Shame can be a hinderance. I was going to join a grief group once, however was told that since no one had died I couldn’t join in. Understandable, but where do I put this grief? It’s not the kind of loss that is talked about often. I feel for those who have lost a loved one to Covid19. I hear stories of virtual funerals. Meantime, they need a hug.

This poem from my collection: Snippets on Estrangement

I Need a Funeral

I need a funeral
Bring food and flowers
Hold me
Cry with me
Tell stories of those we love

No one has died
But they are missing
May never be seen again

 

Photo credit, Fscott images, ritual gathering for sea turtle release.

 

What’s on the inside

It’s 6:00 AM. The house I’m renting is in the town of Pescadero. The walls are thin and the roosters crow starting around 5:30. During the night I’ve heard some terrible dog fights. My mind goes to missing my daughter and grandchildren. I give that a few tears then get up and get the coffee going. This morning I’m going to get in some quiet time with a walk on the beach. I look at Facebook a bit. Love seeing what everyone is up to, until that one photo of grand parents and grandkids shows up and then I have click off. Grief is complicated as it is. Experiencing grief for a child who is still alive, who does not want you in their life adds another element of complication. It’s a grief that goes unrecognized. When I’m with everyone at the hot springs I will excuse myself for a little nap. No one has to know why. Alone time is more essential so that this grief does not interfere with everyone’s good time.