Saturday, November 19, 2005


"Fortunately psychoanalysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts. Life itself still remains a very effective therapist." Karen Horney 1883-1952 "Our Inner Conflicts" 1945

It has not been so easy for me to write these past weeks, at least not the serious new chapter segments of my novel which required psyching myself into Alexander's world and focusing on the characters and plot. Yet writing really is my therapy, so I concentrated instead on revisions and did editing for my writing class students. Mostly, I wrote in my blogs or journals (on-line and written.) I've kept a written journal for at least 25 years though I don't necessarily write in it every day. However for the past few months I've tried to record everything that happened, snippets of conversations and events that took place between A. and me at the hospital or his home, before he died. And since he died, I've tried to write some of my thoughts on my on-line journal and blogs as well. Writing things down definitely seems to have a therapeutic effect. I know for my hand written journals which contain mainly private thoughts, when I look back over the months or years and read about the events in my life, I see how I weathered storms and how various experiences had their affects on my life, or in changing my life.

I had not realized how much grief I would feel over A's death. Ours was a rather unusual relationship, based mainly on the fact we were both writers. I found him fascinating and mentally stimulating and now that he's no longer here, I realize what a profound experience it was knowing him. I also know that life must go on...

So I have been trying the weather the storm (which has included things like smashed windows resulting in a draughty bedroom, resulting in an ear infection and assorted other ills. Not to speak of my usual state of pennilessness.)

I have skirted around the serious writing lately, but now it's time to buckle down again. And one thing I know is that when I immerse myself in Alexander's world, I am far, far away from this one and so it's a good distraction from those thoughts of sadness and regret. In preparation for a new week to begin, one in which I hope I will be able to get more writing done (not only on my novel but I must start preparing some articles to market), I have tried to keep myself occupied with pleasant events which has included spending time with good friends. Lucky me to have such a wonderful network of guardian angels!! It began Thursday, when care-packages of groceries started to arrive, and friends dropped by to spend time with me, to provide hugs and consolling conversations. I went last night to listen to the Latin music, still so aware of that vacant spot in the band. I got feeling very tearful when they played his favorite songs, and others there did too. But I knew I had to stick it out, stop dwelling on the sad stuff.

Today again there was music when I went with a girlfriend to hear my son's Blues band. Sunday I've been invited to the Santa Claus breakfast with another friend's family, then to watch the Santa parade along with their two little boys. Time to be a kid again and get into the festive spirit.

My hope is that by Monday I'll be feeling better both in body and spirit and can return to work on my novel. As my night school classes are all finished this week I'll have plenty more time to spend on my own writing. I know it's going to take awhile to get over the tragedy. There's still a lot of tears left to shed and many things to think about. Already I have learned some valuable things about myself. In the meantime I know I have to keep on writing!

"No coward soul is mine
No trembler in the world's storm troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear."
Emily Bronte 1818-1848 "Last Lines" 1846 st. 1


KlynnGrey said...

you are an amazing women Ruth.
it is a pleasure to know you.

Sam said...

I'm glad you're starting to feel a bit better - it is exhausting to mourn, and I get sick if I lose someone close to me - as if my immune system closes down in grief. Getting back into the light is slow work - but it's important to let yourself grieve too. (otherwise you end up carrying the sorrow around like a heavy coat)
(At any rate, here are some virtual (((Hugs)))) to make you feel a bit better.
I wish I could do more!!

Dennie McDonald said...

I find writing therapy, too. It is hard trying to reconsile yourself with loss and you need to escape sometimes. (I lost 3 grandparents in the last 2 years the most recent in July.)

I find that when you can esacpe into your characters, it gives your mind and your heart a chance to rest before you return to your grief. (it also works when your kids drive you nuts, which is probably the rest of the time for me!)

Wynn Bexton said...

Just a note to thank people for their kind comments and let you know I'm feeling much better this week. The sun is shining today after days and days of pea-soup fog, and with the sunshine, my spirits have lifted too!

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