Organizing as a coping mechanism—who knew?

Dec 03, 2022

My Mom's physical body is gone but she's all around me. I don't want to write about it and also I want to write about only it. Which means I do something else. Like organizing a drawer, cleaning a closet, and sweeping ungodly amounts of white hair off the floors (why, why is the Polar Bear shedding her coat now?) I've started hanging pictures in our house finally. I kept questioning why it's taken me 18 months but finally figured out just today that it's because I didn't know where everything was supposed to live yet. My art studio has toured around to 3 different places in this house—it's finally in the right place now, an offshoot of the living room.

It just takes time.

You know, like grief.

I think if I start writing, I will write you guys a book and you'll be like, "OMG Julia, shut up."   So I think, ok, I will just write a single blog post. Something short and concise. Haha. And then I organize a closet instead. As a matter of fact, during the last days of her life, while she was lying in bed unresponsive, I was organizing her guest closet when I couldn't cope anymore. I didn't know organizing was a coping mechanism for me.

Humans are weird.

I'm writing this on Friday night. It's been 3 weeks since she left her body. Her official date is Saturday, 11/12/22. But for me, she left Friday night. My brother Michael was in town and he was staying at Mom and Dad's house that night. Just before I was going to leave to go home, I remembered to do the "grief sentences" that I will often do with coaching clients if they are in need. I decided to do them out loud and holding Mom's hand so Michael and my Dad could see what I was doing in case they wanted to do the same—and they did them right after me.

They are:

I regret that...
I'm sorry for...
I thank you for...
I will take with me always...(a physical thing, a memory, etc)

As you can imagine there are a lot of tears and a lot of snot.

After we all calmed down a bit, I left and was driving along in my truck, half way home, when I suddenly felt my Mom grab my left hand and announce in a giddy voice, "I DID it!" She was so thrilled with herself that I laughed out loud! She had been able to finally leave her body! I immediately called my brother, curious what was going on there. Everything was the same. I told him what had happened. He called me back in about an hour and said, "Something is definitely different."

I arrived again the next morning and she very much felt like she wasn't in there. It was such a weird feeling. So, the organizing began in earnest.

That evening I left to go home and get clothes and come back to spend the night. On the drive home I told my Mom, "It's ok if it's your time to go. You and I had our time last night." And lo and behold about 30 minutes after I got home, my brother called and said she was gone. At that moment, all I could feel is relief for her. I was under the misconception that hospice death is peaceful and gentle. Maybe sometimes it is? It was a blessing that she left her body.

And that's enough about that for today.


Photoshop isn't working for me today. So, not too many photos since I have to shrink most of them to fit here:

A pretty sunrise this week:

I love watching the Polar Bear do her guardian dog thing:

Christmas is mostly up:

My pantry makes me happy:

And finally, something new on the easel. I'm being brave posting works in progress! Here is the first layer of my next painting. It's 30x48" and I'm already liking it!

I keep thinking a celestial feel but I have no idea what that means yet. So often I have an idea and then it morphs and changes as I go along—paintings always have a mind of their own and they grow and become in interesting ways.


A couple pics of my Mommy. I keep finding good ones. This was taken in about 1986 with her dog Fluffy:

And this one was from my first year in Colorado. My brother lived with us for a short time, thinking he wanted to live nearby but ended up finding a job in another state instead. Mom came to visit us during the winter months and we went snowshoeing and visited a hot spring:

My advice: take all the pics and video of your loved ones that you can manage. You will be grateful to have them someday ❤️

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