last year i bought a tree from the church lot up the block. i dried the roses from nathaniel's service and put the petals in clear ornaments, and decorated the tree with these. we put lights on the house. the energy of the grief pushed me forward. nathaniel was gone five months christmas day.
this year, the living room is full of boxes. empty and flattened, most of them right now. we've spent most nights these past months at the farm. i commute about 40 minutes to and from the city now.
i honestly don't know how i feel about it. most days i just feel confused and overwhelmed. we bought a farm. i moved my city chickens out there. the dogs. the cat. we have some furniture at the farm house. books. my art supplies. i bought and have been raising 10 ducklings. i bought 4 geese.
i like the birds. i hate the commute.
i'm trying to get the city house packed up but every time i try i get so stressed out. i don't know if it's going to happen. there's a deeper sense of inertia now - some leaden force that binds me in place.
i try to motivate my world by imagining some beautiful life that probably would have never been had nathaniel lived. 11 acres on an island. my own studio. but it feels like someone else's life that i'm trying to put on, like a jacket that looks great on the model but might not fit me. like some shitty consolation prize.
i don't know if it's just because of the holidays or if it's something else. if my body reacts to the moving with anxiety and pain, do i just then stay put? or do i push forward through the pain and try to imagine a different life? try to invent myself again?
i am still grieving in my body intensely. the pain is back in my breath today. i've actually had some success working with my breath for about the past month, which is amazing because i couldn't work with my breath for more than a year after nathaniel died, and my breath had been my number one coping skill for years. i've had some success with just slowing waaaaay down. walking very slowly. bringing mindfulness to my movements. but some days the anxiety just picks up and shakes my being, and it feels like my world could come apart with one or two sentences.
i know the stress is not good for my fertility. i know the stress is not good for me at all. but i can't seem to get away from it.
what do you do to manage the stress of grief?