Embracing the Roomba
Mom passed 7 months ago and grief isn’t simple (for anyone). Since early May, my grief has tangled so tightly with my bipolar depression, anxiety, aging, chronic pain, and highly sensitive nervous system that I’ve been left with a knotted ball, growing heavier and heavier.
I move between rooms of our home, no routine, no logic. I will do one-quarter of a task before leaving for another spot where I’ll notice another thing to do and before it’s finished I retreat to the couch. It's a great deal like a Roomba (and if I could fit under the couch like the Roomba, I'd hide there some days).
In one room I will cry because I can’t tell if it’s a King sheet or a Queen and leave the bed unmade. So I'll pull out all my nice Sharpie markers to draw but then can't think of anything to doodle. So, I'll go for a walk only to turn back by the end of the street because I’m just too physically weak (or it’s much hotter than I thought). Eventually, I'll make it into my office to edit an essay but go online to research my local politicians instead. Soon I'll start crying again and go outside to pull weeds. On the porch, I’ll read a single paragraph of the same book I’ve started and stopped four times since Mom passed and then give up and take out the trash but not the recycles.
Perhaps it is post-pandemic, empty-nest, aging-brain induced ADD? I am certain my friends and family with ADD can relate to this Roomba feeling. Grief itself brings a disorientation as the brain accepts that someone should exist that does not anymore.
And while I’m not ready to call this thought "hope," at least today, in this moment, I find comfort in the ways of little Roomba:
move forward a little at a time,
spin away from obstacles to find another path,
be patient with the process, and
return to base to recharge your batteries.