It’s January, the month most of us could do without. The holidays are over, it’s dark more than it is light, and it can be hella cold.
I have a special dislike for January because I am entering into the period of my Big Brother Cedric’s disappearance. We don’t know when exactly he went missing, but it was after the holidays, dark, and hella cold.
Since COVID-19 descended on us and I’ve been alone with my emotions a lot, I’ve realized that I mark my internal calendar with the dates I’ve lost members of my family—a kind of grief horoscope.
Like--it’s Halloween; Dad went into the hospital today. The next few weeks until Thanksgiving—when we had to pull the plug—are gonna be tinged with sadness. I better let the family know I might be a bit sensitive.
The last few months have been—well, especially stressful. I won’t go into it, but I’ll just throw out some key words—racism, election, variant, death, insurrection, division...you know.
On top of that, I’ve been working through some Big Feelings in my sequestered time. Here’s your second set of key words: fear, abandonment, and betrayal. If you’ve read my writing before...you know.
And—we’re going back into our school buildings without vaccines. So there’s that.
Surprise! My old friends Panic Attack, Stress Eating, and Dread-in-the-Gut have all been stopping by unannounced and unwelcome. No coffee an’ for you—I’ve got work to do. Shoo! Scram!
Wait, what? You’re busting through the door, anyway? Who’s gonna clean up this mess? Excuse me...?!?
Besides upping my meds and trying to drink more water (there’s no shame in self-care!), I started journaling and mind-mapping this weekend. I stepped up the sleep meditations. I committed to shutting my computer and spending more time with my husband and son. I’ve been baking more and moving a LITTLE more. I‘ve reassured my body that even though she’s shaking, she is safe, and I WILL NOT abandon her.
And last night, Cedric showed up in a very long, very good dream. I don’t “see” him very often, so it’s kind of a big deal.
He was badly hurt—I wasn’t sure how or why. He had a big gash on the back of his head, among other injuries, and he was in a hospital bed in a big, busy living room. He had lost 100 pounds and was lucky to be alive, they said. He couldn’t speak, and he couldn’t stand.
I was scared to go to him. What if he didn’t know me? What if I hurt him? What if he dies again? I kept looking at him. I paged through Star Wars picture books and wondered if I should read him some Tolkien. Would he remember?
Finally, I walked up to him and said quietly, “Hi, Big Brother.” He opened his eyes, sat up, and threw his arms around me. I carefully put my arms around him.
When he looked up at me after a while, his eyes said firmly, “I’M not abandoning you, either.”
Healing continues to do its work, even under some pretty January-ish circumstances. Thank The Maker.