June 8th, 2012
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Alex Katz Painting
The amazing thing about grieving is that it blows all the unimportant stuff right out of the water.

When it happened to me, the contradictory feelings of grief immediately rearranged my priorities and what I once thought was important wasn’t anymore.  New stuff appeared at the top of my priorities list after my loss.  Things I thought were important suddenly didn’t matter, and other things I didn’t seem to have time for before, I now made time to do.

Life dramatically changed, life tragically changed and everything mixed together and changed its order.  Life re-shuffled.  I now have a different perspective on life because I saw how quickly life can turn itself around and how you shouldn’t take anything for granted.  Instead, I know that I need to grab life every day and go for it!

When life deals you a blow, your first reaction is to withdraw and protect yourself. You want to crawl under the covers, lock the doors and wait for the bad stuff to go away all on its own. But guess what? That doesn’t work and only tends to put off the inevitable.

In fact, denial can sometimes make a situation a whole helluva lot worse. I think it gets worse because ignoring a situation allows your thoughts and feelings to build up and build up instead of working through the pain.  I know it’s scary but think of working through your grief pain like pulling off a band-aid.  Doesn’t it hurt more when you pull the band-aid off slowly?

 For me, this is where the joking comes in.  You could call it weird widow humor.  I tend to make jokes when I get overwhelmed by life because it’s a great coping mechanism, tension breaker and it allows me to find joy when there doesn’t seem to be any.

I know that’s not always the most effective way to deal with a situation, but cracking a joke can make something more manageable and it brings the situation into perspective; as in maybe the situation’s not as serious as others think it is.  Take for instance the minor mistakes of life.  If I cook something and it doesn’t taste right, I try to correct it and if it still doesn’t taste right, then I let it go.  If my child comes home with a bad haircut, I’m annoyed, but then I say, “It’s only hair”  and then I try to let it go.  Okay, so the grass didn’t get mowed today.  I will get to it.

But I really try not to obsess anymore.  Are these truly the most important things in life?  Ten years from is anyone going to care?  I don’t think so.  Sometimes you have to re-shuffle your priorities.

Be open to spontaneity…Be in the moment…Especially today.

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