When someone you love is in hospice, and an angel finally dares to give you an actual time frame, there is a sensation of simultaneous relief and panic. Without that time frame things can be confusing, angering, uncertain… with that knowledge comes grief and finality. Here are my tips for living the best life you can, while your heart slowly breaks off in pieces.
Live Large- We recently had a party for sickie, which was over the top, ostentatious, probably tacky. And it was loads of fun. As we adult ourselves, living more and more quietly while discarding the our innate childlike glee, we disconnect ourselves form the wonder and complexity that is our life. And that is incredibly sad. When time is of the essence, it feels less crazy to hang over a hundred balloons…
Create Something- Ok, beyond writing a blog that no one reads, I have a variety of outlets for my grief. I make blankets, which are horrible, plan creative play dates, and make fairy houses. It’s kind of the “fake it till you make it” motto, because even though I hurt inside, putting pieces of myself out there and accomplishing something builds me up. It puts little nuggets of esteem in my back pocket that help me face the really bad days.
Take Care of Your Appearance- Basically comb your hair, paint your toes, and use deodorant. I’m not saying you have to get fancy, but if you feel like you are falling apart it can be very socially isolating. It is easier to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get out there when your outer appearance doesn’t match your inner chaos.
Set Goals, Commit to Them, and Follow Through- Admittedly, it seems as though time needs to stop until, well… until sickie’s time has stopped. It feels selfish to think of anything else, to make plans, to go on. Yet, without little milestones to meet or upcoming successes to look forward to, I think my spirit would shrivel completely. I would have a deeper sense of despair, and nothing positive to talk about with anyone. So I am participating in an art fair that also benefits charity, I’m looking for new ways to train my horse, and I’ve adapted a healthier eating plan. Because although my heart is breaking, I refuse to break with it.