Tag Archives: stress

Grief. Time doesn’t heal all wounds.

I’m not going to apologize for not writing as much as usual this week. Sometimes I need to take breaks. And other times, I just don’t feel like cooking. That’s what this week has been. But I have some ground beef defrosting in the fridge and perhaps I’ll make a meatloaf and share my recipe with you later today.

I think I just realized why I’ve been quieter this month and haven’t had too many things to say. With COVID, things have been tough as you all know and probably feel for yourselves. My dad is in stage five with Parkinsons and he’s in long-term care. Cases are on the rise and they’re talking about another lockdown. My dad barely survived the last one.

With Parkinsons, comes dementia. Dad had a hard time remembering what was going on from day to day. He went from seeing his kids almost daily between me and my sister. To not seeing anyone for months at all. The depression kicked in. He mostly slept and cried all day, everyday. We were told he was getting the help he needed but he wasn’t.

We’re looking at moving him into the next level of care but this process could take a long time. Up to a year. I’m hoping we can move him closer to my sister so I can visit them more too. They live in Sherwood Park. If that’s the case, then when I move in the spring, I might move closer that way. It makes more sense.

So, I’m really worried about an impending lockdown. Not seeing my dad for months on end nearly killed me too. I live alone. The isolation was damaging.

The other reason I’m not too talkative this week. I turned down a funeral through the church two weeks ago. I played for a funeral last Saturday. And there’s another funeral coming up this Saturday and our family knew the deceased.

Music is something I’ve done for most of my life. It used to bring me such joy. Now with COVID, all the fun parts are gone – seeing people, connecting, meeting new people. It’s not the same. And funerals in general are hard. They’re so hard since dad got sick. He’s my only parent left. I’ve lost all my grandparents – years ago.

I’ve even lost some old friends this year. And it sucks when you can’t even go to the funeral because, COVID.

And so, grief has taken form once again. But I wonder – does it ever really go away?

This morning my neighbour was up early at 6:30 am and woke me up out of a dead sleep. I banged on the wall and fell back into a restless sleep. I had nightmares about the house. Bad. Bad. Nightmares. They’re getting worse. And it’s not just me. My siblings – the women – are ALL having similar dreams. But this one – it was like a bad horror movie at the house and my dead mother was the guest star.

Maybe I need to take a break from horror movies. But it’s almost Halloween.

I just emailed the pastor. He offered to have someone else play for the Sunday All Saint’s service and I took him up on the offer. I can’t do a funeral AND a candle lighting service. My emotions are just wrecked.

I don’t think grief ever really leaves us. Especially when it’s someone like your parent or a loved one. I think some days just are just easier than others because you can keep busy and distracted. But every now and then a dream will happen, or a memory is triggered, and you’re right back to where you were when you first lost that person.

Grief. They say time can truly heal, but I think some hurts never really do.

Dream Speak: Stress Dreams

Last night, I crawled into bed at exactly midnight. I tried staying up late but I was so tired that I gave up and caved in at 11:56. I put in a good effort. But sometimes my sinus issues makes me more tired than I actually am. Or this is life from now on. Who knows.

I woke up from a stress dream that left me a bit perplexed. I’ve had a lot of those lately. Random dreams about random stresses in my life.

Most of you who read my blog know that I play the organ for a small church in town. This is something I’ve done for 15 years. And love it. But when stress creeps into my life, it usually manifests itself in all it’s ugly glory and appears as stress dreams. Or even more fun, night terrors And even better than that – sleep paralysis. I’ve had fully blown hallucinations from sleep paralysis. Not fun at all, I tell you.

Last night’s dream threw me off a bit. I was sitting in a pew in a crowded church. It looked very much like the Catholic church my mother used to drag us to every Sunday. That’s where I learn to read sheet music. I was bored to tears and would sing along to the hymns.

I was surrounded by strangers who were chanting and singing along to “Now we thank our god” when all of a sudden, I found myself sitting at the organ. I had already missed playing a verse because I couldn’t find the hymn in their hymnal book.

I panicked as the crowd started singing the second verse. No one seemed to notice that I wasn’t playing. I played the first chord. And started having flash backs to the first wedding I played the organ for. It was a scary experience.

Everything I played on the organ, came out wrong. Then they moved onto the next hymn and I was still trying to find the hymn – the number 345 appeared on the wooden board where they displayed hymn numbers. But that didn’t make sense. To me, number 345 was Morning Has Broken – a favorite of mine (and my mother’s).

Finally, the singing stopped and I found myself back in my seat. Next to me, sat friends from the church were I play the organ. I couldn’t figure out how I got there so fast. That’s how my dreams are. They seemingly flip from one scene to the next.

And then I moved to another dream. A handsome and dashing man from the crowd honed in on me to tell me how amazing my performance was (huh? what performance?) and asked if he could take me home. I said yes. And the dream turned into… um. Let’s just go with, something else.

All I know is I woke up from that dream and scratched my head. I have no idea what it means. But … is it a bad sign that I started off a new decade with a stress dream about doing something I’ve loved for fifteen years?

Ponder that scenario for a moment if you will.

I hopped out of bed at 8:15 am and by 9:00 am, I had cleaned up my kitchen and had coffee and breakfast ready. Plans for a semi-productive day are now on hold as I’m considering crawling back into bed. I don’t even know why I got up so early on new year’s day.

Eh, fuck it. I’m going back to bed. Maybe I can slip back into the dream and find out what it all really means.

How does stress manifest itself in your life?

Asking for a friend.

Happy new year!