I've always encouraged my daughters to develop a broad variety of friendships in their lives; advice passed along to me from my dear mother. I've not always been good at following this advice but I try. Yesterday, that effort came home to bolster me up and out of the grief vortex I've been swirling in lately. At least it is a start.
Not to confuse you but here is what happened. With the encouragement of my therapist, instead of sitting home alone, I reached out to a few friends and told them what was happening with me. I had to start with LM. Although, he has been witness to my state, and felt my withdrawal, he really had no idea of the depth of the grief I am feeling. Of course, he responded with his usual quiet but effective support, and his arms.
I moved on to telling two friends at work and they have been wonderful. One suggesting we make a plan to walk after work several nights a week. That will help as I have been unable to initiate exercise on my own.
For some reason yesterday, I reached out to two women friends whom I see occasionally for dinner or walks, both of whom happen to be therapists. I owed them both e-mail or a call, too. One, D1, responded with an invitation to go to dinner next week and also a flyer detailing a seminar on grief which is coming up nearby in several weeks. I signed up immediately! The other friend, D2, also responded quickly and told me her sister, also a therapist, who just happens to specialize in grief, is leading a seminar on the subject in a few weeks. Turns out to be the same seminar suggested by D1....I had no idea that connection was there between my two friends all this time. Obviously, it was waiting to be revealed at the exact moment I needed the help. I had not contacted either of those friends because they are therapists, just that I really like their company....we rarely talk about their profession. Interesting, and my heart is much lighter this morning.....my network is at work for me.
LM called me yesterday to say he had some just dug soft-shelled clams for me so you can bet I was at his house within 10 minutes of leaving work last night. I not only got that delicious gift of clams for my dinner, but a long and warm hug and the chance to share this great story of grief relief. LM being in my life is also the reward of friendship....we were casual and caring friends at work for 20+ years before realizing we had a great love! You just never know.
After I came home, I steamed and devoured those lovely clams and then set out to make this wonderful Bolognese sauce from a post which Pioneer Woman shared a while back. She often has her friend, Pastor Ryan, visit her blog to share his wonderful recipes. The narrative is fun reading. It is as wonderful as described, and will make a delicious meal to share with LM on the coming weekend.
I did tweak the method of cooking a bit, by making it in my cast iron dutch oven and then cooking it in my slow cooker for 6 hours over night....I also cracked the cover a bit so that it cooked down some. The smell in my house this morning is heavenly. The sauce is perfection!
BTW when I visited LM last night, there was no sign of the cat which his daughter "gifted" him with on Monday. He does know the poor thing has been downstairs to eat and use the litter box. Hopefully, she will reveal her face sometime soon. LM really does wish to return her to her owners or a shelter as he cannot care for her right now. Awkward situation. I went upstairs and placed some comfy sleeping spots around for her but could not find her....hiding under a bed, no doubt.
I cannot finish this post without thanking the many readers who have offered me such encouragement and love through e-mail and comments. Your words echo in my mind and heart throughout the day and have helped sustain me. I know this is an ongoing process but today there is hope. I am grateful and so enlightened by your kindness to someone you only know by reading words. The world is an amazing place.