Solitude and Gratitude, Continuing to Process Grief

Solitude and Gratitude

I am used to talking to myself these days. When my wife WAS alive, she would often tell me I talked more to myself than I did to her. So I am used to talking to myself.

There is a problem with that, however. I need interaction. My own voice just bouncing off the walls gets monotonous. I need to hear other voices. Yes, I do answer myself back sometimes, but, I need some other perspectives. Even my wife would make comments from time to time. Even if it was to tell me to stop thinking out loud.

I am lonely. Not all the time, but ….the sound of the clocks on the wall gets louder at night. The oil burner and the heat makes more noise than I ever realized. The walls and the roof creak on occasion.

Sometimes I think I am smelling things like food, or smoke from a cigarette, the scent of hand cream, something cooking, potpourri (yes, there is some of that around). Sometimes I like the sounds. Other times I want to hear music, actual melodic music instead of the house talking to me.

I have successfully written a page about… loneliness and quiet. And no answers to these writings. And sadness, and joy. Oh, you didn’t pick up on the joy part yet, huh? You have to listen with that third ear. It is akin to the third eye in meditation. The third ear helps you to listen BETWEEN the lines…and hear what may not be spoken.

Of course, sometimes there is only silence there. But, other times it may be soft, it may be subtle, it may be obvious or barely perceptible, almost imperceptible. How do you hear joy?

I am not sure, I don’t know it well enough to teach someone else how to hear it yet. I am learning. I am learning how to hear it for myself. How to feel it, how to see it and take it in, absorb it, let it ignite my cells. How to embrace the sensation in my body. I am more used to suffering.

You know, the aches of painful past memories, those I am conscious of and those that are below my conscious radar. Some are just below, some are further below, some are buried deep and require serious patience and inquiry as to why they are still there. What are they doing there? How did they get stuck there, and since they are probably doing something that had a survival function at some point which is no longer serving the original purpose, how do I embrace it and allow it to shift?

Time for a nice deep breath, several actually. Can I just be present with those inner beings, (usually it is a child from 3 or 4 or 5 yrs old to a teen or young adult, but more often than not it is a young child because young children are more easily damaged or traumatized), and accept them and start a dialogue with them?

That is what I am practicing. Next week I hope I will gain some valuable guidance, that of a therapist who understands the language of communicating with those long untouched inner places. So, in theory, if I embrace those inner children, there is a shift, a transformation of some sort, and a cultivation of joy.

What a nice phrase, a cultivation of joy. A cultivation of joy. A cultivation of joy. Conjures up an image of gorgeously rich earth being mixed up and aerated and prepared for something delicious to be grown. I can smell that earthy, aromatic flavor. I breathe in and focus on the joy of my breath, I breathe out and let the tension go. In theory.

Neal Klein
Life After Emilee, on the loss of my wife to pancreatic cancer. I’m not accepting comments right now but please feel free to get in touch via my Contact page.