Tag Archives: therapy

‘This is too exciting, I must say …’

Watching old SNL skits featuring Martin Short as Ed Grimley is way more fun that writing about aging, no doubt.

On my way to writing a terribly poignant yet boringly philosophical treatise on “H-ing,” I found myself on YouTube. Where else? Conducting, ah-hum, important, journalistic research on a quote from a man to be admired, Ed Grimley.

After a good hour watching the few circa 1980s “Saturday Night Live” sketches with Martin Short’s Grimley I wanted more.

Here’s a homely looking guy in a super-modest (only slightly oxymoronic, I must say) apartment. Short’s Grimley is a pixie with shark-toothed hair, bared teeth, pants pulled up to his midriff. Michael Jackson stole his hand-on-the crotch gestures from Ed, no doubt. He prances about his flat, plays the triangle and dances with abandon. Would that we could all be so carefree. But wait, there’s more.

Pat Sajak is his hero, “You can’t find a more decent guy than Pat, you know.” When the devil, played by Jon Lovitz, offers Ed $50 in Christmas cash, Grimley painfully ponders his options before replying, “I’m afraid to say that I have to say no because I’m not completely convinced that your intentions are honorable and I don’t think I’d fair very well in hell, what with the heat and everything.” I can’t do him justice. Give yourself a break and watch this clip.

“Oh and I supposed that’s not fun.” I mean it! Now go. Shoo!

 

Yes, Charlie Brown, there is good grief.

Several people I love are grieving. No one has died; they’ve severed parts of themselves. Two have lost their well-earned public identities through job changes. One is losing a spouse due to an ugly separation, opening a trashcan stuffed with abandonment issues. Another lost once-visible body parts to cancer.

Grief is good. Use it as a time to grow.

Grief from such losses can be surprising. We’ve come to learn that losing a loved one in death brings grieving, but from leaving a job? What if you quit or retire? There is still a loss of self. If you’ve been doing something for a very long time and get to know the people, the routine, that life and what the money brings then leaving or losing that life can be devastating.

When Sears sold off its parts in the mid-’90s, I was no longer needed. For the first time in 30 years, I wasn’t working. “They didn’t need me.” No longer my title, or in need of my corporate wardrobe or first class upgrades, or invited to great meals in major cities or to stay in wonderful hotels, I remember saying through a weak smile, “Guess the party’s over.” It turned out to be a good thing over time, getting real, but it wasn’t easy reinventing myself, finding my new normal.

We knew for months our company was going to be acquired, so I should have had time to prepare, right? But the grieving didn’t begin until I’d been home a few weeks. Catching up on sleep and cleaning closets stopped suddenly with the onset of a terrible cold. Depression set it and months later a girlfriend told me I was grieving. I was stunned. “Really? Grieving?”

Worse was the loss of life through divorce. True, the marriage was no longer a happy place for either of us but suddenly the life I lived and had come to enjoy was gone. It turned out to be a good thing over time, learning to thrive alone, but it wasn’t easy finding my new normal. Even worse was losing my parents.

Fortunately grieving can bring a useful depression. Reading the October issue of something I was reminded that depression causes us to withdraw from the day-to-day. If we’re able to do the hard work, dig deep, deal with real feelings to find a new normal, it’s a good place to be. I used to call it going into the tunnel. At first I hated it, but now I see the tunnel as a good place to go when I need it, especially since I’ve learned the light on the other side is definitely not a train.

Good grief helps us come to grips with a new normal.

Let your friends know you're grieving. Give them the chance to help you through the tunnel, or the pumpkin patch.

If we’re diligent we’ll be even better after the struggle. More real. If you’re grieving now, ask yourself what part of your ego has been severed due to your loss.

In 2000, I lost my home, my husband and my mother, had a year-long cold and a horrible backache. We all go through these things. Having been there helps us know what loved ones are going through. We can’t make it easy for them – they have to do the work. But we can support them in the best way we know how.

I’m free

Celebrating Independence Day in Munchkin Land“Today is a day of independence, for all the munchkins and their decendents.” Mayor of  the Munchkin City, in the County of the Land of Oz

 

My dog Aw’gy is leaning his muzzle against my thigh as I write this. He’s begging for his morning outing – he whines, walks around the kitchen, comes back and sniffs the hem of my shorts. Try as I might not to anthropomorphize, I imagine him thinking: they look like walking shorts, they sure smell like walking shorts, then what the heck is she doin’ sitting here. I’m ready to get out. Come on, girl.  Continue reading