Burning-Question-Suzanne-GrenagerThe other day, as I lay resting, which is pretty much all I am able to do other than eat and sleep, up from the bowels of my being came a powerful question. It’s such a big question, so critical to my future, that I am not quite sure if I dare to ask it…here, out loud. What, dear God, if the answer is no? But here we go…

The question (to be read slowly):

Do I Suzanne Grenager want to live a life without Trond, the man who was my beloved partner, best friend and anchor for 50 blessed years? Do I truly want to do that?

And here’s the follow-on question: Might the fact that I’m am *not* sure I do want to go on without Trond be the overarching reason I have so little energy that I can barely perform basic life functions? Final question: If so, what the fuck do I do about it?

That is where I sit right now, dear friends, and it is a terrifying place to be. I came around to that burning question thanks to a conversation with my excellent coach, Amanda. On one of our sporadic Zoom calls, she asked me if I would play a little game that involved visualizing, or at least trying to imagine, the life I would enjoy living if I were feeling better. She suggested I come up with six scenarios of how things might be different if I were well. Sure, I could do that.

I supposed I was to imagine things like waking up feeling very refreshed, getting together out in the world with my new California friends, facilitating an elder or woman’s support group, or doing more with my book. Things I definitely can’t do now but might’ve enjoyed doing a few years ago.

As a homework assignment, Amanda suggested I write a paragraph about each activity and what it would feel like to engage in it if only I had the necessary energy. I gave it a short shot. I’m a writer so I can make shit up and put it down on the page. But almost immediately I realized my heart wasn’t in it. Although I could go through the motions, I sure wasn’t feeling it.

When I reported back to Amanda the next time we talked, we came to an important realization. The simple truth is I was not ready to resurface and take a shot at a whole new life without Trond. Thankfully, Amanda understood and agreed with me. The last thing she wants me to do is to force moving forward – or anything else for that matter – which is why I love working with her.

A month or so later when we talked again, Amanda tried once more to see if I could imagine a life with energy to feed it. What would that new life look like? I drew a blank.

So she asked me a different but brilliant question: What do I want my life to look like right now, in exactly the depleted shape I’m in? Did I know? Bingo. The answer was clear, bringing a smile to my face and energy to my recently sketchy voice. We both felt it.

“I want to stay put, be loving and kind to myself and — this was critical — I want to be taken care of.” Yes!

What do I mean I want to stay put? Two things. I want to be able to remain in this beautiful house in the woods for as long as I can. And, while I am this weak, I don’t want to go out except for things that are absolutely necessary, like critical medical appointments. I want to stay home and rest and, to whatever extent possible, I want loving people here to take care of me. There it is. And after all I have been through — with Trond, our radical relocation and so much more — that only seems right. I now understand that I’m still coming to terms with the extent of my recent losses.

Another time soon I’d like to explore what it might look like to be more loving and kind to myself, as well as to let myself be taken care of. These are both things I think almost all of us need to do better if we want to contribute to a more loving and peaceful world. I know I do. Thanks for listening, and my love to you.

About the Author: Suzanne Grenager

A seasoned writer and mentor with a gift for helping people see and be their most authentic, empowered Self.

2 Comments

  1. Karen Latvala December 11, 2022 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Dear Suzanne, you didn’t ask for comments, so I’m not sure if you want them.
    I just want to acknowledge the beautiful way you came to realize that you are still depleted from events of the past few years and you need to be taken care of by loving people for awhile until you have regained some strength. May you find the perfect people to do that.
    –Much love, Karen Latvala

  2. MaurieA January 1, 2023 at 8:53 am - Reply

    I love reading your deep pondering again! I hear your limbo: I want to live a life without Trond AND I don’t want to live a life without Trond. <3

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