Clicking the blue links below will play audio clips. The top one is of my new guitar track. The one below is a voice lesson with my vocal coach, Peaches Chrenko where I discuss with her my soon-to-be-arranged song I’ve named “My Dream.”
It was dark and I acknowledged it. Even though I couldn’t see, I had a sense of how to navigate in the darkness. I maintained faith that I would not fall, and I ignored all pain.
There was every reason for me to stop and sit down. But if I did that, it would only take longer. I hated the tunnel, so I refused to stay still because moving forward was the only way out.
I kept telling myself to keep going and one day, I imagined I saw a pinhole of light. As it gradually became larger, I felt myself surge with energy – all of my faith had paid off; it wasn’t going to be much longer.
Suddenly, the light flickered and was gone. It turned out that my tunnel was far longer than I had thought. I would need to grope and stumble for a while longer. Now, I could not ignore the pain anymore and disappointment swelled and screamed inside of me. Tears began to pour from my eyes, because it felt like it was too difficult to keep going.
I fell down and cried. As I lay there, I was ashamed because I knew this was my choice. Although I had certainty that my future would be beautiful, I searched to find a purpose for this additional time in the tunnel. The darkness was pressing upon me and there were no answers I could think of. With sadness, I began to crawl forward again.
Suddenly, I felt myself magically lifted up. I felt clarity with the sudden brightness that was ahead of me. I strained to see what had begun to illuminate my tunnel.
It was my dream.
It glowed and embraced me. I closed my eyes and allowed it to propel me forward. I would get there. Music accompanied me in the darkness and all of my pain was soothed.
She remembered when love was like a blanket. In the beginning, they were both wrapped tightly and snuggled in it. Their faces brushed so closely together that she could feel his breath upon her cheek.
Over time, things began to slowly change. She realized that although they were covered with the blanket’s warmth, now their faces were turned away from each other. It was more comfortable that way. But even when they were not facing each other, their bodies still touched. They often rubbed each other’s toes with their feet.
With the passage of more time, they began to pull at the blanket in order to find comfort. While sleeping, they would both take turns grabbing at it. He would become upset if she pushed it off and lay on top of it. She would wake up and find herself cold without a blanket nearby; then she would pull it back.
Eventually, they both adjusted. But she realized that neither of them found the blanket to be comfortable anymore.
When it was time to leave, it felt to her as if all of the years of adjustment had caused the blanket to simply become a fabric. It required unraveling in order for her to leave.
She began to pull apart all of the threads. She cried for each and every one. He did not show her that he was crying, too.
When she pulled apart the last thread, she turned to leave. As she went through the door, she wrapped herself tightly with an imaginary blanket so the memory would sustain her.
Today, I found out that my second eye surgery has been postponed. I also learned on Monday that I would have the additional cost of $1,000 in order to correct the astigmatism in that eye, which I have chosen to do. My eye surgeon has concerns about my astigmatism and wants to take new measurements for my left eye.
In order to allow for my eye to be correctly measured I cannot wear the hard contact lens that allows me to see for three weeks. I am also still adjusting to vision in my corrected eye. It will be another month before my eye surgery, so I am in limbo.
There are plenty of things I need to do as I prepare myself to move temporarily to my parents’ coop with two of my children. However, I’m not supposed to be lifting things or stressing myself. Emotionally, my living situation is fraught with awkwardness and excruciating sadness.
Although I am very frustrated by my eye situation, I keep reminding myself that it is only temporary. I plan to continue to move forward and stay positive.
With love, Judy
Message from someone grieving on an Internet forum – my reply is in blue:
I listened to your song “Hang On,” Judy. It is beautiful and your voice is pure and true. But right now I hurt so badly that I can’t see this place that you sing about. Yet it is comforting to know that it exists. I want to jump over all that is to come and be there. I wish we could cheat grief of the agony it causes. I would gladly raise my hand and say, “Yes! I am a coward and I want to avoid this at all costs,” if it were offered. The pain is unbearable at times and I would jump to the head of that line. Thank you for your comforting words.
You are very expressive when you write your feelings. I am certain that will help you through this. I only wrote sporadically while I was in deep grief. Many years later, reading those words helped me to see my progress.
I have often said comparing grief is usually not comforting. Well, I am in that place now because divorce cannot compare at all to the grief over the loss of my child and most recently, my father.
Yet at this moment, I am in a dark tunnel. I feel your words easily, about how I wish I could avoid this and jump ahead. Yesterday, I was told I couldn’t have my second eye repaired for another month (cataracts). At this moment, I have only one eye that sees, for which I am still adjusting. I am 52 years old and was surprised when I found out a few months ago that I had cataracts! It makes everything harder, because I need to move out due to my impending divorce. I still am sleeping in the same bed with my husband. We are civil after 31 years of marriage, but my house is filled with so much pain. I am very concerned about my children who all live at home, even though they are older (21, 18, and 15).
I always felt so lonely in my grief, because my husband didn’t connect with me. Losing my father four months ago has also left me feeling very isolated. But, I would never have wanted him to see me going through this; that’s why I waited until he died.
I’m certain in a few months I’ll get my strength back. On the other hand, it is hard for me to comfort you because I know you have a very long road ahead of you. I am being honest when I tell you this – there is no shorter road. Some people never take any road and suffer until they succumb to grief. You will not succumb.
My songs are there to help me. I just composed a new one, which I’ve named “My Dream.” I plan to record it soon. If I didn’t have a dream, I wouldn’t be able to cope nearly as well. Hanging on is also applicable for me right now. I must remind myself to hang on through this tough time.
I wish we could both jump forward. Perhaps there is something to be gained from this time in pain. I believe it will allow me to become more inspirational and compassionate. I plan to continue to express my honest feelings.
I also believe that healing does occur with grief. It never can go back to what it was before – it simply changes and we adjust.
The thing that I want to share, which inspires me through this tough time, is that healing is not about simply surviving. It is about finding joy in life again. I want that for everyone suffering and it is possible. It was and will continue to be for me.
Message from my editor, Carol:
Jeez, if you didn’t have bad luck, you wouldn’t have any luck at all! I find that when I get into impossible conditions, if I can continually remind myself that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel — and hope it’s not a train!
I also find I can get through anything as long as I know it will come to an end. Keep strong and hang on till the end. Things will straighten out. There’s a great wine called Moscato and another one that I can’t remember, but it has a gold stripe on the bottom of the front label, help me immeasurably some days. After the craziness, relax and take a sip.
You are so right about all this. How funny that I did some writing this morning for therapy and it was all about “the tunnel” and hanging on! I just wrote a new song I’ve named “My Dream” and honestly it is what keeps me going.
I just keep reminding myself that this is all temporary. Right now, I can barely see my computer with an eye patch on. I hate thinking of this for a month, but it will pass.
I’ll share my writing soon.
Ps. I don’t drink wine, but chocolate is always comforting.
There may be a compromise: some company is selling chocolate wine! I’ve seen it in both Ralphs and Vons. Give it a try. Have you tried Baily’s Irish Cream? It’s cream and chocolate to die for. (I’m not trying to turn you into an alcoholic; you have enough problems.)
Thanks, Carol. One day down, 23 more to go. I did it the hard way. I went through my day with blindness in one eye. I drove at night and closed my blind eye because everything was glaring at me.
I had to turn down a huge art job. My son’s school called me to inform me that a shooter at the school was apprehended. The nursing home called to tell me that my mother almost passed out and had a fever again. I received a singing job in two weeks. I recorded guitar tracks for my new song. I shopped for a new stove for the place I’m moving to. I met with someone I care about and offered my advocacy experience to help her with her child’s school district issues. I went to my son’s Back To School Night. I celebrated my daughter’s 19th birthday.
I did this all in one day with only one eye working. When I received a call about the shooter at my youngest son’s school I started laughing. They must have thought I was loony.
Ps. I did have chocolate today!
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