Thursday, October 24, 2019

Coping strategies

Anyone mourning the loss of someone vital to them develops coping strategies to help them get through it, things they do to deal with the tough times, and to make themselves feel better. Like anyone else in my position, I have strategies like that.

Up until now, I’ve talked mostly about the comfort that came from talking so much over with Nigel before he died. Because of that, it was like he was there with me. But we didn’t talk about some things, and, of course, new things come up all the time. The photo up top points to one of my strategies, currently my main one.

The photo was taken in Takapuna back in 2015, and has always been pretty much my favourite photo of us—so much so that it’s been my Facebook cover photo ever since. If you look at the wrist of Nigel’s right hand, you’ll see a silver bracelet, open with two knobs on the end guarding that opening.

Nigel bought that bracelet many years ago—I can’t remember how many—because he’d always wanted one. He pretty much wore it non-stop after that: He slept with it on and even showered with it on. I have no idea why he didn’t take it off because I never got around to asking. He took it off the night before he died (or maybe the night before that) and gave it to me to take home for him. I only did that after he’d died, because I was there his last two nights, staying in his hospital room with him.

When he died, I thought about that bracelet, and put it on before going to the first visitation after he died. It was kind of an impulse thing, and I had to squeeze it a bit more closed because his wrist was larger than mine is, but when I put it on I felt like he was with me.
Me wearing the bracelet a few days ago.

Since then, I’ve put it on whenever I’ve wanted to feel he was with me, like when I was going to Open Homes in Hamilton last Saturday, or shopping for a car. Today I took my first longer drive in my new car, and I wore it again.

I know it’s just a piece of metal, but when I wear it I think of him and that’s comforting, kind of like a little hug. In the future I probably won’t wear it as much as I do now, and certainly not as much as Nigel did. I think, because I really don’t now. For the near future, at least, if I post any photos of me at a family event, if you look at my right hand, you’ll probably see it.

I have other coping strategies, of course, but this is the most obvious and visible one, especially to those who know where that bracelet came from. I was always more sentimental than Nigel, as he’d readily admit, but I’m not sentimental about everything. And, of course, it’s not sentiment that’s operating here, it’s a coping strategy that works for me.

Anyone mourning the loss of someone vital to them develops coping strategies to help them get through it. Mine is simple: I wear a bracelet.

I originally posted this on my personal Facebook shortly before posting it here. That's the way it will be from now on: I'll post things here on this blog the same day I post it to my personal Facebook. However, they may still be edited somewhat, and this is certainly no promise of a return to daily blogging. It's now at least possible, though.


rogerogreen said...

STUFF, icons as it were, can be powerful!

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

I think I knew that, but I'm learning how much that's true.