A battle plan for grief

Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I have a feeling this isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last time I’ll have to deal with grief (duh, right?(. Perhaps I should come up with a battle plan.
Do I really want to give up screenwriting? Every five minutes while staring at my screen, I wonder why I’m still doing this. At times, it’s just because I’m as stubborn as my son when he’s after my phone.
But habit is bad. Intention is good. “Live on purpose” as someone once said.
Part of it is prosaic. I tried to stay away from screenwriting but I got blasted bored. I still might write a short story now and again. And I’ve written more than a few poems over the years. But nothing gets my blood going like a movie.
Part of it is because I think it’s worthwhile. I have to do something that I think will rock the world. Even, especially because, it really might not. And that’s always been movies for me. Movies have taught me things I didn’t know I wanted to know and have introduced me to people I didn’t know I wanted to meet. But best of all, movies have made me feel less lonely. There’s magic in that. And I’m trying to chase it. One way or another, I think we all are.
Perhaps there’s a tiny chance that someone somewhere might feel less lonely watching something I’ve written. That’s a huge blessing.
So how do I survive? How do I go on?
Forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. Myself and others. People act according to an internal logic. I might not understand, but what they’re doing makes sense to them. Most people don’t intend to hurt me, they’re usually just too focused on themselves. As I am as well.
Remember who I was. I’m not all that different. Just have a few extra responsibilities. Remembering means doing some of the things that gave me joy before I had my son and before I lost my mother. In my case, it might be revisiting some of the things, people and places that I loved before I became a mother. God forbid, talking to my husband once in a while (more). And absolutely screenwriting. And believe it or not, aerobics. Which my son finds hilarious. And there’s nothing cuter than baby laughs.
Forget who I was and live in the moment. That means giving myself up to the present with all its overpowering sensations. Exhaustion mingles with delight. The most beautiful smells mingle with the not-so-beautiful. It’s all about the dichotomy. I’ve learned living in one state is impossible and even painful.
Have fun. Children might not know much but they know something that we adults seem to have forgotten. How to contort their bodies into pretzels, yes. But also how to play. How to have fun with no expectation of outcome.
Don’t fight the feeling. Last week, I was walking through the fabric section at Wal-Mart and I was fighting back tears (my mother was an excellent seamstress). The weirdest things trigger memories of my mother – food, disappointment, laughter. I can’t pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t. I have to ask for help and trust that someone will answer.
Do what I can when I can. I shouldn’t focus on what I’ve lost. But what I have. It’s hard but it’s necessary.
Beauty, love, joy, rapture in ritual. The last thing I want my son to think is that I regret having him. It’s just that I don’t always feel up to the challenge of being a mother. The things I miss most about my mother are the routine things. The walks around the neighbourhood, dropping her at work, the afternoon tea, the spirited discussions around movies and TV. Maybe I can create an appreciation of the everyday in my little boy before it’s too late.
When the next wave hits, remember, Sabina. You can swim, even though you might think you don’t know how.
I’ll stop talking to myself now.

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