Sitting in the fog

chair in fog

When I began my journey grieving Dave’s death, people spoke of fog.  Commonly thrown around in grief circles, “the fog”, refers to those early days, months, even years that we move through after a loved one’s death when we feel lost, confused, well…foggy.  We hear from people in support groups about the fog.  We talk to each other about the fog.  I can tell you when I thought my fog was clearing…it seemed to happen in phases, slowly for me.

This weekend I had a different experience of fog…the real, atmospheric kind. I haven’t seen fog in a while.  I was traveling and woke to a morning consumed by fog.  My mind immediately thought of “fog”…the grief fog.  As I stood out in the early morning air on the balcony, I was only able to see a short distance.  That’s how fog works…I can’t see ahead…kind of how the grief fog works…I felt so broken after Dave died, I couldn’t bear to look ahead.  I can see why the analogy to fog works so well with grief.

Something struck me as I stood in the fog.  I could only see what’s was right there.  I could only see what was right in front of me.  I really wasn’t able see the buildings across the street.  I really couldn’t see how I would survive after he died. Seeing the real fog, feeling the real fog brought another idea.  What if being in the fog is a gift because of just that?  What if looking to the building across the street or a future I didn’t know or couldn’t comprehend isn’t the point?  What if the gift is seeing what is only right in front of me? What if the gift my pain has brought me is the ability to be present in each moment and to appreciate only what I can see, have, or do what is right in front of me?

Before I was a widow I was busy.  I was always running from one place to the next.  When he died, the world stopped.  The world started moving again whether I wanted it to or not…but I was myopic.  I could only focus on the fact that he was gone.  That was ok. That was what needed to happen.  I needed to sit in the fog.

So I sat, I grieved, I survive day to day…but now because of the grief, the fog, the sadness I am more present to the moment I am in.  I really only have this very moment for sure…I want to see it.  I want to be loving, kind, patient, a good parent, and a good friend.  I want to be grateful for what is, not what might be.  I want to stand in the fog, see only what I can see and be glad to see it.

The one thing about fog is that it always clears.  It burns off, it dissipates, and it fades away.  I hope as I continue my journey, I don’t let the fog clearing burn away my gratitude for the moment. I hope I don’t let the ability to see the building across the street, the ability to look ahead again cloud what is right in front of me.  I don’t want to miss the moments, the gratitude or the blessings that being present to now can bring me.

Happy New Year~

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7 thoughts on “Sitting in the fog

  1. Candy says:

    This is so beautifully written and I shook my head “Yes” as I read through it. You have explained this widow fog exactly. May I repost this in my blog?

    Candy

  2. Amy says:

    Thanks Chris
    I love this analogy.
    fog the protector….
    a cocoon for growth…..
    Hibernation in winter for new life of spring..
    I am ready to hibenate
    xo

  3. I usually am out somewhere, usually in the middle of a busy day, when your blog hits my BlackBerry and I take a deep breath and often just plunge right in. I know it’s not going to be a quick, easy read at times and yet I persist. Your words are palpable and cut to the quick, but I look forward to each new post. This is no exception – you manage to convey what so many people go through, so eloquently and with such grace. It’s a privilege to share in your journey.

    I very much like the thought of fog as a safety zone, protection from anything beyond the immediate vantage point as well as the heightened awareness such a small window of clarity can bring. Sometimes we need to focus fully on the present in order to move a bit further beyond the fog and it certainly never hurts to be here in the immediate present and appreciate every small thing around us.

  4. Christine,

    I am fairly new to your blog and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your life, beautiful heart and your wonderful writing gift with us. I loved this post! Being a visual person, drawing your analogy based on a literal fog, really touched home with me; especially since, focusing on the present has been a major theme in my communication with the Lord since this time last year.

    Thank you for your lovely voice of honesty and encouragement. I added you to my two blog lists today. You are a blessing!

  5. Cathy G. Nuesmeyer says:

    Christine,

    It is almost a year for me and I have had some very foggy days. Thanks to your blog I think I understand and have a better acceptance of these past months and what to expect in the future. Thank you for sharing. I will now watch the fog with a new understanding and wait for it to clear and bring with it the sunshine.

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