This Saturday marks 3 years since Jeremy took his last breath.
How can that possibly be?
Every year, I am in awe of how crazy it seems that so much time has passed, and yet how far away it seems when so much life has been lived in between. I have truly experienced more in the past 3 years than most people do in a lifetime. Since Jer died, I've bought 2 houses, purchased a new vehicle, traveled all over the country, lost and gained friends, dated and remarried, blended a large family, moved out of state, had a baby without his daddy, and am preparing to have another child with another man. Surely these things couldn't possibly describe MY life...
And yet, no matter how much life has been lived since I've seen Jeremy, the weight of the hole he has left in my life is still so evident, and still a very painful reality I face daily. The last several weeks have been especially hard for me. Part of it is because I now grieve so far away from his family and friends, far away from the life I shared with him, and far away from where I can feel his presence. I feel so far removed. I ache to hold on to pieces of him during this season. Part of it also is from the fact that the closer I get to delivering, the more terrified I feel. Pregnancy hormones alone could do me in, but the sleepless nights remembering a piece of my grief that I never thought I'd have to face again is sometimes too much. My anxiety level is high, to say the least.
I was texting with a friend this weekend just about how crazy it is that it's already been 3 years. And I realized how much I ached just to talk to someone about it. To let it out. To have someone actually ask me. I confessed that it's been hard to feel like I have no outlet lately. She asked me if writing was no longer an outlet. I had to think about that for a minute....
Writing has always been my way of expressing emotion. Words are my ally and my weapon of choice. They help me sort through my own head when things don't make sense. And being able to write about my grief journey has brought me more healing than I could have ever imagined. But I found myself at a crossroads of guilt. Guilt for feeling like I couldn't talk about the depths of my pain without somehow sounding ungrateful for the life I have now and the blessings that come with it. And guilt for being too grateful for the life I have now and feeling like people think it means I'm just ok and don't need to talk about Jeremy anymore. I also just don't like feeling like I'm seeking out attention. Writing makes people think they know me and therefore the personal connections are lacking because they think they know where I'm at. They can watch from a distance.
The truth is that words sometimes are not enough. Most of the time, I really don't have much NEW to say. I've run out of ways to express how much I miss Jeremy, how much my heart longs for him, how hard it is to watch my kids grow up without knowing him.......it really never changes, just evolves. I want to scream from the top of my lungs just how much grief sucks still sometimes. I want the world to know what an incredible husband I have now, and that how deeply I cherish him has no impact on the amount of grief I have and will continue to carry through the rest of this life. I wish I could find the right words....words that connect with everyone. But like Janelle said, we can't reach everyone. All we can do is write what we know, what we are living.
I keep going back to an analogy I heard shortly after Jeremy died, I think in a book I read somewhere. It painted a picture of train tracks, one track representing grief and one representing joy: both running side by side on the same path. They both exist together.
This week, I don't have the right words. Just a jumbled mess of emotions that seem to represent my heart these days. My words are not enough. But just remembering to put one foot in front of the other is sometimes all I need to do.