The Comfort of Simple Indulgences


“A feeling of pleasure or solace can be so hard to find when you are in the depths of your grief. Sometimes it’s the little things that help get you through the day. You may think your comforts sound ridiculous to others, but there is nothing ridiculous about finding one little thing to help you feel good in the midst of pain and sorrow!” 
― Elizabeth Berrien, Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick’s Path from Loss to Hope

IMG_1150I awoke to the sound of rain pouring on the roof and wind whipping through the trees outside my windows one rainy Sunday morning last fall and wanted to pull the covers over my head and spend the day in bed. I had planned to get up early, go for a walk on the harbor and then have a delicious, breakfast at my favorite downtown restaurant. The night before I had even placed my clothes on the chair and my walking shoes beside them to remind me of my good intentions to get out in the fresh air and enjoy a brisk, sunny fall day.

The pouring rain drowned my good intentions and I felt sadness envelope me. Sundays had been the hardest days since my husband died because this had been our day to spend together no matter how busy life became. Now the children are grown and busy with their own families. I haven’t worked in several years. Although I loved my job it was more important to be available to help my husband through his years of illness. And my friends are generally busy with their spouses.

Why should I even bother to get out of bed? I will just lie here and be miserable wondering if I will ever awake again excited because something wonderful might happen on a Sunday. Nature called, however, and I had to get up to use the bathroom. I realized that the house was very chilly even though it was only late September. I hate being cold but still heard my husband’s voice echoing in my mind “It’s too early to put the heat on.”

“The hell with that,” I thought rebelliously and went to the living room and set the thermostat far higher than he ever would have. Then I made myself a cup of coffee and sat in my favorite chair wrapped in a prayer shawl a dear friend had made for me. Already, I was feeling a little better. Then I remembered I had a delicious pumpkin muffin in the freezer so I took it out and put it in the toaster oven. While it was warming, I sliced a delicious fall apple. When the muffin was perfectly toasted, I slathered it with butter, cut it into small pieces and headed back to my cozy chair with the apple and muffin.

Thinking that I was being totally self-indulgent, I picked up a book that was a challenge to read…but then put it down and turned on the television to see another episode in a crime drama I had been following. For the next three hours, I indulged in my yummy brunch and engaging mysteries. Even though it was nearly noon, I was still in my pajamas and hadn’t accomplished one thing.

Or had I? I no longer felt miserable and sorry for myself. Somehow, spending an indulgent morning warmed my heart a bit and I was ready to do something that might even be productive. Maybe organize my pantry so I could begin to prepare those healthy meals I promised myself I would start cooking. As I folded up my prayer shawl, turned off the television, and brought my dishes into the kitchen, I was actually smiling to think how simple indulgences really did bring some comfort to me today.

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