"Stress is not what happens to us.
It's our response TO what happens.
And RESPONSE is something we can choose."
Maureen Killoran, Life Coach
I got up feeling pretty darn good this morning. Knew I had some laundry to do so got right to it. Then started re-potting plants that have been in dire need of some fresh soil and a bigger pot. I took a breather to run to the bank and store for some more pots.
I walked into the bank, asked for the lady I usually deal with. Since her office lights were out, it was pretty clear she wasn't in. She's been moved to another bank. One thing I can say for Wachovia, they have nothing against change! Change the name, change the people, change the decor in the end it's still the same place my mom and dad opened an account back in 1962. I shouldn't have let my mind go there.
But I did. The reason I was at the bank was to close out my father's accounts. No big deal, right? But as the bank manager started asking questions, and I started signing papers I could feel my throat closing up and tears welling up in my eyes. We walked back to the room crammed with safety deposit boxes and I was flooded with deja vu. How many times had I been there with my father as he officiously checked the contents of the box as if something might have changed? Today, I stood at the small desk in the private room running my hand over papers that no longer need protecting . Papers that are now just that - papers. It felt like being at the funeral home all over again. Me and a box, once filled with what I held dear, now empty. I cried but didn't dawdle.
Back in the small office I waited while the manager found a debit slip. The last few dollars of my Dad's account would go into the nether world at the bottom of my purse. I cried for all those times Dad tried to talk money sense into my pea brain and all I could do was sing la la. Quite unexpectedly there was a hand on my shoulder and Sweetie's voice asking if I was okay. Today I'm grateful for my blue-eyed husband who often gets the brunt of my roller-coaster emotions but who always shows up and steps up and gently tells me what I'm feeling is O.K.
I'm wondering, if stress is a response we can choose, is the same true for grief? I haven't yet learned how NOT to react to people, places and things that cause me stress. But I do think I understand the concept. Out of the blue today, I felt sucker-punched by grief. I think, the message in quote above, is that I can choose not to stay in the sad place. I can't say that right now I'm feeling quite as perky as before I went to the bank, but I've had time to settle into a comfortable less-sad place. There is still laundry to be done, plants to re-pot and dirt to be vacuumed off the kitchen floor. I will put Dad's papers away in a secure spot. I will remember. I will sooth my soul in ways that I know will work for me. I choose to move forward.
Today I'm also grateful for the resilience, strength and courage of a young boy who has stared into the dark place and said, "No More." Firekeeper You Rock!
Wishing for you opportunities to choose what works best for you.