.... if I Feel "Happy"?
Ahhhhh ..... an interesting question, and one I've asked myself several times when considering what to write about on this blog.
I've never come to the conclusion that I should stop writing here ..... but I do sometimes wonder. Especially after comments like those that were written yesterday.
Am I, and my grief, less valued because my husband died in 2007? Do I not "get" someone's grief if their loved one died last year ..... last week ..... yesterday?
Should I only write about the inky, black, suffocating days/nights of existing in the nightmare of my grief? Will those of you who are newer in this club-no-one-wants-to-join relate to my words better if I only write about the times I struggled to survive .... literally? The days when I knew that there was no future for me without Jim ..... when I looked at a calendar and saw only blackness ..... no hope for even a pinpoint of light to ever pierce the black?
Those were the days when I knew that I physically could not bear one more day of living with that pain ..... I was too exhausted to eat, sleep, talk, cry .... breathe. The days when I had to continually make the choice to stay ..... or go.
And I could not imagine having to live another 40+ years like that.
But the thing is ..... I haven't.
I haven't lived every day since then with that amount of pain.
I did manage to wake up one more day ..... and continued, in spite of my wishes, to breathe.
I have learned how to survive without Jim ..... learned how to live again, rather than to just exist.
And I've learned how to be "happy" again ..... both alone .... and in a relationship.
So, in learning how to do all of that ..... did I forget my grief?
Did I lose the pain of living without the man who was supposed to grow old with me, retire and travel the world with me, walk our daughters down the aisle on their wedding day ..... share the joy of one day experiencing the miracle of grandchildren? The man who was supposed to help me navigate the waters of raising teenage boys ..... who was supposed to be here when I was surprised to hear the words "major surgery" .... and "cancer"?
In a word ...... no.
No, I haven't forgotten.
No, I haven't lost the pain.
And no, I don't think that's all I should write about because that's the only way you'll be able to relate with me.
I write because ..... well frankly, because I was asked to.
But aside from that ..... I write because I AM surviving. And I am surviving with my grief and with the pain.
And to show you ..... to prove to you ..... that if I can survive with that ..... if I can learn to live again .... in spite of living with that .... if I can learn to be "happy" again ....
I write to tell you that "hope" is not just a four letter word.
I write to let you know that you are not crazy.
You are not grieving wrongly.
You are not supposed to process through any stinking "stage" at any certain time .... or at all.
You are not alone.
And yet you are.
And that ..... (and the reason that you most likely found this blog) .... sucks.
No matter when it happened.
Or how it happened.
Or if you're single .... or dating .... or re-married.
And it always will.
And yes, the timing of some of the events in our 7 different lives is strange (we do not communicate with each other about our posts .... we write what we write) ..... and hard to deal with when the timing in your life is so very different.
And that sucks.
So does the fact that Jim .... and I .... and our children .... and you .... were robbed of the dreams of our future.
And so much more.
But I will not let it rob me of the living the rest of my life, however that looks .... the way that Jim would want me to live it ....
I will not let it rob me of the hope I've found again .... or of the ability to be "happy" with myself, by myself .... or not.
Or writing about it.
At least ..... not this week.