With time and hard, consistent work, grief does bear gifts for time served. Grief, like all things in life changes. The changes are not linear and they don’t come as quickly as we would like, but change does occur nonetheless.
This fourth year without Mike, my grief feels different. Now, my grief is well worn. It is softer and more “comfortable” if that is even possible. It still doesn’t quite fit right. But, I am wearing it just the same. I am learning to wear grief well; or, at least with more ease. With time, my grief fits better. Yours will too.
Rest assure, I never want to be entirely comfortable with grief. This is not where I want to settle. This is not where life is lived. It is a starting point at best. There is hope. Hope for a life that is not filled with sadness and desire only for days gone by. Others, who are further along than me in widowhood, have assured me that their grief has changed. I want to believe them, and I want this for myself too. But, early on, I did not know how this would ever become true. I worried my grief would be exceptional. It was not. And, your grief won’t be either.
Although not sequential, grief does evolve and change like everything does in life. Change comes. Trust the process. Stay the course. Even when it feels impossible, trust that something bigger than you is at play.
Yes, I miss Mike endlessly. I always will. I have come to accept this. I know my life will always be a tiny bit bittersweet. I sincerely wish this was different, but I don’t think it is. I miss a man who has died and nothing will ever really be fine without him. I am not sure I will ever feel 100% content without his physical presence. But, I am trying to find my way in the world. I am trying to enjoy my own company. I am trying to find joy. I am trying to live the beautiful life I have before me.
Still, I am restless as the day is long. But, I am doing this. And, so are you. We are living forward because there is nothing else we can do. We strive to accept this alternate life. We learn to accept it over and over again. Acceptance is not a one time thing. It is an ongoing process.
For the better part of two years, I rebelled against Mike’s deadness. And, I utterly HATED the word acceptance in relation to his death. But, with time, I see that acceptance is necessary. I have accepted his death in my head, and in my heart I work to do the same.
I don’t know where life will take me. My life is full of uncertainty. Life without Mike is scary and anxiety provoking; but, it is beautiful nonetheless. I have a heart filled with gratitude for what was. Gratitude is my weapon in grief. I am better for loving Mike and being loved by him. And, when I am unsure of everything, I am confident that his love will guide me as I navigate life without him.
I did not die, neither did you. A new decade is before us, we have to go forth. I am striving to rebuild my life upon the solid foundation Mike and I were creating. I will find my way and so will you, eventually.