A Question Worth Asking
Little Bits of Good

On Processing and the Power of Running Away


Yesterday was such a hard day for me -- in the way that grief makes everything feel impossible.  I couldn't quite manage to do the things that make for a "normal" day.  I just needed to "process."  And for me, that means reading, talking, analyzing . . . basically, figuring out how my brain - and my heart - was going to adjust to holding and dealing with this new reality.  

So I read every high-quality analysis I could get my hands-on.  I talked to my sister.  I talked to a good friend.  I talked to Erin.  I journaled.  I knit.  I made feeble attempts at household chores.  And I thanked my lucky stars that Tom had left earlier in the day for a planned trip up north to the cottage for a few days to close things up for the season and host his annual poker game.  Because Tom - who was going through his own painful grief process - grieves in a very different way from me.  He turns inward.  He doesn't speak.  He needs to process his feelings without interference.

But then . . . I heard Hillary's most gracious speech.

And I totally lost it.

I needed to be with Tom -- even if it meant silence.  

So I ran away.


I threw my knitting, a bottle of wine, and the dogs in my car -- and I headed north.

To grieve and process (in our very own ways) alongside Tom.

We sat around the fire for a couple of hours . . . 


Talking some, but mostly not talking.  Tom reflected.  I read more analyses and opinions and updates.  We pet the dogs.  We drank.  We processed.


We watched the sun go down and moon come up.


This morning, I'm ready to pack up and head back home.  I feel a bit more . . . put together now.  In my own head.  Certainly more resolved.  And ready to move forward.  (Stay tuned.)

Running away for a day . . . was the right thing for me to do.


Although I didn't participate today, please be sure to check out the Think Write Thursday group here.



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Every time I think I'm done crying, something brings the tears again, and this time it's your post. Some of these are good tears - that there are thoughtful people like you and Tom that care about the state of our country, that you are kind people who are respectful of each others' differences, and that nature is the perfect place to run away to. I'm like Tom and have to withdraw and turn within, so I haven't been able to watch PBS, BBC, or even listen to NPR, and I may be done with facebook forever, but I'm so grateful for our knitting/blogging community where I can feel uplifted and supported. Thank you for sharing.


I'm glad you went to be with Tom, I think that was smart. Hillary's concession speech was fabulous and it made me cry, too, not just for the wonderful things she said but for the lost opportunity we had in making her our president. I read something today that said that perhaps this loss has united us again and woken a sleeping giant, that maybe our feminist movement had grown complacent and now we will be empowered in our anger. I hope that's the case because right now HOPE is all I've got.


I think you made the right choice. Both for yesterday, and for your life partner.


I hadn't cried yet...your post is perfect and reflective of how similar problems are solved in our house. (Clearly not this one...ahem.) I'm glad you and the J-pups made the trip. I can't imagine the emotions that were going through HRC's camp. So sad.


I hadn't cried until I read this. I would love to know more about the quality analyses you read. I recommend a blog called Margaret and Helen--two old but very wise women!


I'm glad you were able to process -- in your own ways, together. I was grateful for the distraction of work yesterday, though the quality/quantity of said work may not have been quite my best because... distraction! I was happy to see a slight shift in mood late yesterday from pure anger and raw emotion to some rational thoughtfulness -- at least that was the view from here. I really can't tolerate any of the hate. Thanks for this lovely post.


Still processing here. You did the right thing to go be with Tom. I suspect your presence helped him as much as his helped you.


You didn't run away, you regrouped. A lot of people are doing it. What we do next when we are finished regrouping will determine if we 'ran away' or not. You were smart to go to your 'center'.


I think you embraced autumn beautifully. Sitting around a fire would be very healing. I'm still working through the process.


One of the things that has helped me over the past few days is to walk away from social media. The negative, awful postings from both sides of the table made things worse. What did help was to hear my boss - a staunch Hillary supporter - speak to his staff yesterday, in a very quiet voice - about how our clients need us more than ever and how that is how we can battle this outcome. Our clients represent all whom have been attacked in this election process. I work for a non-profit that offers free legal aid to low income people in PA. His words helped me realize I could do something about this terrible political mess - by making sure our clients are heard and well served. I know this may sound trite - but we can't let hate win. We need to do everything we can to work against the hatred in our country and we need to start locally. I am blessed that I can help accomplish this at work - even if I am only the controller and don't provide direct client services. The work I do helps to make sure people have fair housing; that no one is discriminated at work because of their gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation; that women of domestic abuse find help; that an impoverished family wins life-sustaining benefits; that strides are made to make health care more accessible to working families; that services to the elderly are improved; that veterans across the state find access to services.But I also plan to get involved in my community - I can't just complain about the outcome of this election. I must not let this hatred consume me.


Thank you for the lovely, thoughtful post. It's been the longest week... and I'm ready, too, to start thinking about moving forward. Hugs!


It has been the most surreal week I can ever remember. I have voted for candidates that have lost before and I never felt this deep sense of grief - mourning - profound and painful. I cried much of the day and grieved deeply. And, the things I saw this nation do stunned me. How did we get so fearful of those that we perceive as "different" from us. I do not know at all and my heart is so sore.

Cheryl S.

We were on a vacation in western Georgia with my sister last week. I was glad to be away from home. Somehow it made it a little easier.

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