May 3rd – Coping mechanism – Chris Ritchey
It has been a strange few weeks; something has gone awry within me . I am not coping well or as well as I ever cope after losing you. I am – once again raw, intolerant, weepy, my depression level running higher.
I looked for the usual pit falls and triggers- I checked to see those coping defenses put in place these many months were still there. I can now see a black Ford pick up truck without flinching , I can drive past Mary, Mother of God Parish( St. Mary’s church without wanting to physically vomit.
Why have I been so overwhelmed, why am I once again emotionally incontinent ? Then it dawned … the tree , that beautiful large Maple , standing outside my den window. I had to make the decision to pull the plug on that beautiful tree as she too was dying. Your father told me I would miss that tree outside the window.
I hadn’t realized what a terrible difference it would make losing her. You see, in some respects I have become somewhat of a recluse. I find the comfort I crave in my home – the thick walls protect me – I can cry when I need to, lose myself in Acorn TV. for hours, I can lock myself away delete or shutdown the outside world when the need arises.
A great deal of my time is spent in the den on the computer -writing- which for me is cathartic , researching and reaching out from the sanctuary of this place to the world and shutting the world down with a click of the keyboard.
Just as that tree protected you it has in its way protected me, blocking out some of the life and happenings in this neighborhood-
What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve over, does it?” ― Peter Shaffer, Equus
And then she was gone- her wood taken away, her stump ground away ! My eyes, no longer shielded by her presence from the view from the den window, were opened to life in the neighborhood. Life, lifestyles and people intruded into my home – no longer softened and deflected by a stalwart trunk arms that reached to the sky and green. Situations, some really pale in their significance in the “before time of losing you”, I would have dealt with, became all-consuming – overwhelming my ability to cope.
I was not dealing well. Was it because I felt the outside life and lifestyles rushing in at me. The tree that had protected you, on the January day, deflecting her sister tree away from your room had, I realized, also by her very presence been deflecting the intrusive, the ugly and unwanted from me. She gave me respite in her own way and now I have to find other coping mechanisms and wait for green to once again return……….
This life has become “coping” – I love you and miss you with each passing sunset……..