I muddled with this for most of the day, and I knew that I was grieving. And it still didn't really make sense. Not really. I considered that it might be hormonal, at least in part. But still .....
I didn't do much over the weekend. I gave myself permission to let the emotion, the pain, the grief, the hormones, whatever it was, to just be. Nothing more, just be.
Then, sometime yesterday and into today, a few things began to fall into place and make a sort of sense. This evening, I worked it out a little farther, and here is the skinny. Or so I think.
- In 2005, my husband died. He had been sick for a long time, but his death on 10/18/05 was from a newly diagnosed cancer.
- I retired in the waning months of his life to care for him.
- In the next year, the changes in my life were numerous, hard physical work, selling my home of 30 years, moving out of state, and more than it makes sense to try to list here.
- On 9/29/06 I left Kansas City, leaving behind my last 30 years.
- On 10/18/06 (anniversary of Glenn's death), I suddenly lost my little dog, Mai Lin.
The next year(2006-07) seems pretty mild on the surface. The changes were positive ones but there was still a lot going on:
- I bought a new home.
- Moved my belongings to my new home.
- Had a huge garage sale (a good thing, but it also meant letting go of possessions that were a tie to my previous life, i.e., it represented loss).
- Stumbled into a part time job and completely changed careers, coming out of retirement.Things weren't too bad during this period or for the next (2007-08). But as I look back, it was building:
- February I learned that China Doll had cancer. She died 8/29/08, giving me about three months more than was expected. But still ....
- I began rescuing Shih Tzu, bringing home Sam, Max, Joey and Jazmyn. A good thing, but it added stress with adjustments and training.
- On 10/29/08 Ali died. He was the last of my precious "originals." His death was a representation of the combined losses of all three: Mai Lin, China and Ali.
- The economy tanked, as we all know. This has added enormous stress for me. It is a financial nightmare for someone in my position. Possibly not enough time left in my life to "recover."
- My part time job ended, thanks to the economy. Belt tightening occurs.
- The political campaigns and election .... need I say more?
- On 11/2/08, my little great granddaughter died unexpectedly and possibly under suspicious circumstances. The investigation is not completed.
- My long time friend Richard died on 11/4/08, just three weeks after his cancer diagnosis.
- And the anticlimax of the political tension hit me about Thursday.
Tonight I went to a website with a Holmes-Rahe Scale. That's the one that measures life stress. I completed one for the 2005-06 period, and the score was 546. For 2007-08, it was better, 483. But you see, anything greater that 300 is considered a major life crisis. And I know that it was all resulting in the weepy day I had on Friday.
The thing is if we don't know why we are emotionally off-center, it is harder to turn it around, to find the center and be balanced again. Seeing this list made a lot of sense to me. I feel about 300% better today than I did Friday. Those stressors are still present and will be forever, but I understand what what going on and was able to "wrap my head around it." I also realized that I've had a lot of trauma in the late summer and fall months for several years now. It is likely to be a difficult time for me for years to come. Now that I recognize that, I can be better prepared for ensuing years.
Knowing is a good thing. It helps. It doesn't fix a damn thing, but it helps to understand. I'll be OK. :)