Catharsis or Creativity?

So often since my sister, Janell’s death in September 2012, I’ve thought:

Sometimes I really miss the old me. Other times I wonder if I ever really knew who she was.

One part of myself, among many, which seemed to disappear along with Janell was my creative night owl self. I love being a night owl. I love the creative zone I get into during the wee hours of the night/morning. I really hit my stride at around 2:00 am – usually.

For over a year after her death, though, my quiet times at night were spent mostly crying or vegging out in front of the TV in an effort to keep from crying. Hating the lack of productivity and missing the joy of creativity, I’d try to sleep but that didn’t work either.

For about five months now, I’ve finally been able to recapture that part of me – until tonight. Janell’s birthday is tomorrow. I went to the cemetery today. I actually had a sweet time there. I pulled a blanket out of my car – one of her blankets – laid it on the ground and actually took in a bit of sun, something she and I had done together since our teen years. One of my last days with her was spent by the poolside soaking in some rays.

While I was at the cemetery, song lyrics to a song I couldn’t name kept coming to mind …

When you remember me                                                                                                                                                                                           If you remember me                                                                                                                                                                                                I hope you see                                                                                                                                                                                                           It’s not the way I want it to be                                                                                                                                    Oh I’d be with you now                                                                                                                                                                                                                 But wherever you go                                                                                                                                                                                          My love goes with you

When I got home, internet searching (and a “memory jog” by a Facebook friend) led me to the song “If You Remember Me” and its use in the movie The Champ. So, I looked up both and have been bawling off and on ever since. That’s okay; sometimes you just need a good cry. This time around in the anticipated all night crying session, though, I decided to go ahead and write this post about what I’m feeling.

I’m not sure if this is creativity kicking in or if it’s just catharsis. I’m just glad it got me through the night.




Catharsis or Creativity?

5 thoughts on “Catharsis or Creativity?

  1. Hey Lisa, I’m so sorry about Nell. I know that words probably don’t comfort, and maybe you don’t want them to. I wonder how you can handle such a thing without crying every day.

    Your blog reminded me that I used to be creative. I used to write. Back when I knew you I though I was a pretty creative writer. It sounds cliché, but I “let life get in the way”. And I let myself forget. I let myself forget who I was and where I came from. I don’t mean to complain, I have a great life; I do creative things. But I forget a lot. When we met up with the girls, I found so many little things that I let myself forget. The sad thing is, memories didn’t come flooding back. But some of the feelings did. Mostly about you. I’ve kept in contact with Trisha and I wasn’t as close with Brenda. When I heard your voice, a sweet calming feeling came over me. And yet, I felt a sense of loss too. As we talked about some things we did, some memories did return, but hanging out all night, talking, seemed to bring back the bond that we had.

    When I was driving home, reflecting, I felt like, in some sense, I had gone home to myself. But when I think about who I was then, I feel like I was very selfish. Why didn’t I go to your wedding? I still can’t remember, but I can’t think of a reason that should have been good enough. I was consumed with boys back then. How embarrassing that is to realize and admit. But I must have been a pretty terrible girlfriend to those boys too. Maybe that was God saving me for Bryan, I don’t know.

    I wish I had a better memory. I wish I had a better sense of self. I wish I had been a better friend, and not lost you for so many years. I wish I would write more, because I really enjoy it. Some things I can’t change, but some I can. I think I will.

    I love you, Lisa.


    • Oh, Little Jeanie (can you hear Elton singing? 🙂 ), I have so much to say in response to this – I think we should meet up again soon. Right now I’m zipping out the door to head to the coffeehouse, but I’ll post more in response later. Just felt strange to not say anything until later though.


  2. Lisa,
    I don’t know what works for you, but writing the messy down as it comes crashing down on me is more than cathartic. It’s also the seedbed for who and where I am right now, and what I need to listen to if I’m going to find myself. Not sure that makes sense. But having lost one of my sisters in 2006, I get your grief bigtime. Yes, I lost part of myself–huge gobs of history that only she could convey or bring to remembrance. A sister who was on the same wave length right when I needed her. Diane taught me so much in her dying. But I’d give all that up in a heartbeat if I could have her back. Thanks for giving me a peek at your grief–and reminding me of how much I love and miss Diane.


    • Elouise, I definitely know what you mean about “finding yourself” in writing out the messy. I have always done this in my personal journaling, just found it different last night attempting it in the blogosphere.

      I’m sorry about your loss. Pray you continue to be blessed and comforted by your sweet memories.


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