Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Pendulum

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I am having a bad day. Not just sort of bad. Really bad. The kind of day when my grief feels fresh, cutting me open from the inside as if I had not been feeling it until this very moment. The kind that leaves me so weak I have no desire to fight the forces of gravity and want to sag to the ground in a pathetic heap. The kind of grief you might see on the faces of the women in exotic countries wailing on the evening news after a devastating loss. When I am ready, I may write about it. I haven't had a day like this in a long time.

Today I came home from a failed attempt to attend church with my family and began frantically scrubbing the insides of my house like a crazy woman. I scrubbed and scrubbed with various sponges and cleansers, trying to wash the darkness I feel down the drain. The tree has been lit, and its 1800 white lights are sparkling. My pine-scented candle is casting a warm glow on my precious set of antique wise men. My toilet bowls are bleached. My floor is pristine.

In my quest to create the perfect holiday home for our son, I have come to the realization I was wrong. You see, it is ME who is in desperate need a safe haven from the outside world, at least at this point in time. Some place I can feel what I want to feel or, in this case, not feel anything at all until I'm ready.

I am progressively more and more uninterested in dealing with how I feel. When I write, I have to feel everything all over again, and, well, that simply sucks. There are times I simply don't want to feel anything painful or profound at all. Times when I want to plod along and do mundane household chores without a thought in my head at all. Thankfully, I can do that here.

Unfortunately, there is nothing left for me to scrub or straighten.

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Blogger camille said...

i'm soooo with you right now. i can't express it quite like you do. but i feel it. the only difference is my house is still a mess. ha.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Auntie Dee-ta said...



4:45 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Strange how cleaning seems to be an outlet for grief. I engage in the same thing when feeling down and feel so much worse when there's nothing left to clean.

I hope things get better for you. Seems the holidays are taking it's toll on many people this year.


5:36 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I wish I could tell you everything will be fine, but unfortunately I would feel like a fraud in saying that because I have days like this myself. Actually alot lately. I can tell you there are good days to be had and that I love you and am praying for God to get you through this speed bump QUICK.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I have no wise words, just thinking of you over here, wishing I was next door pouring you a margarita. Give that baby a big hug from us and kiss his head :)

7:00 PM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

I can tell you that I am in the same kind of mood right now. Sure for me it has come and gone, but for now it is hanging around much too much. I am trying so hard to get out of the funk, but it is not working. ( I have to agree with house doesn't benefit from my mood :)
Hang in there and know you are not alone.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Reading your blog brought me to tears. I've been in the same slump lately. I can't seem to get out of it....I've been in it since Thanksgiving and have been trying to quietly deal with my sorrow while going on with my life - but it is tough. Unfortunately it hasn't made my house any cleaner.....I tend to just want to sleep. I'll be thinking about you...

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Gua said...

The holidays are wonderful/awful. I guess when we soar we create the opportunity for the almost always predictable freefall. It's a part of humanity I've never understood, but I'm not willing to give up the highs. It's so ironic that the church isn't always the haven we hope it will be. That's yet another thing I just cannot understand.
I think that the wild winds we're having right now contribute to my unsettledness.. when each grand pine tree becomes a threat; the pureness of the white snow and frost remind me that without power we're in real trouble; there doesn't seem to be a refuge anywhere. I'm hoping that the calm that comes after this storm will also come to my heart. Right now I need that, and I know you do, too. I love you more than life itself.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

You can come to my house and clean, although I seem to afflicted with the same compulsiveness to cover my grief and anxiety and there might not be much to clean. Maybe we could just give each other pedicures instead. I am sure picking at another person's feet would be great therapy, ewwwwww.Sending much love your way,

8:02 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Its funny how people react to grief - everyone is different, some clean, some cry, i personally have put on almost 20kg this year... yep thats 40Lbs people...
I hope the new year brings us a more even rollercoaster to ride on with less bumps but twice as much fun.
Luv Ya Nancy, im here for the ride too.

6:25 PM  

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