Continuing to love him in separation
doesn’t just seem obvious,
It FEELS like the natural thing to do.
Our Love didn’t die.
Our Love didn’t wane
when his body died.
Continuing our bond
is as necessary as breath for me.
I continue to love Mike in separation,
because it’s the only way
I know how to live.
But, lately I admit that I’m living half-heartedly. I’m disenchanted; and, in response to this, I’ve disengaged from all the life around me. Now, I just exist. I am skimming along through the day. And, I do not genuinely feel anything anymore.
I don’t feel like my life is authentic. It feels uncomfortable and forced.
I’m so completely underwhelmed by everything around me. And, I feel pretty guilty about being less than enthusiastic about my life because there is a fair bit for me to be grateful for.
I know that I can not thrive with my current mindset. Gratitude must exceed my lack of enthusiasm if I want to have a good life. I know this. Therefore, I feel a strong desire to sort myself out. But, I’m not entirely sure how to do this.
How do I lift this shawl of grief from my shoulders and reengage in life?
How do I accept the life I have without yearning for what was.
How do I gently breathe life back into myself without attempting to recreate a cheap imitation of my old life?
I endlessly think about how to go about saving myself; from myself. Instinctively, I have some idea how to begin thriving, but I do not have the courage to action these ideas - yet. For now, I’m playing it safe. Actually, I’m being too safe, and this is beginning to hurt me.
It’s become obvious to me - I need to take a chance on something. Anything really. At this point, I need to commit myself to some sort of change. What the change happens to be is not as important as I’ve lead myself to believe. What’s important is that I actually do something to alter my life - something beyond the makeshift attempts I’ve made so far.
Around this time, last year, I painted my bedroom in an attempt to acknowledge that I was able to make decisions without Mike. I wanted to prove to myself that I was in charge of my life and I tried to accomplish this with a nice shade of the palest blue paint. A year later, I can say for certain that the paint was unsuccessful in making me forget who is not sharing my bed. His absence remained painfully obvious.
Then, shortly after I painted, I carefully rearranged the furniture in the living room. But, likewise, these changes didn’t made me feel less alone on the couch. No matter how I fluff up the new pillows or arrange the furniture I feel him missing. Clearly, I have to do much more than these subtle alterations around my house. My life needs a complete overhaul, and pillows and paint do not begin to "fix" my brokenness - even the best shade of pale blue paint can't magically save me.
But, what exactly should I do in order to salvage my life from the wreckage of Mike's death? How do I live more purposefully? How do I live more joyfully?
Well, for starters, I need to get brave and move toward the future instead of existing in this holding pattern. Also, I need to accept that the future is very different from the one I imagined.
I need to stop worrying and overthinking. I need to believe in myself and trust my intuition.
And, also, quite frankly, I need to think less about me and more about others. I need to focus on helping and serving those around me and the rest will take care of itself. I need to look outside myself. Then again, maybe the answers are inside me.
I think maybe all of this is correct.
I have lost track of where I was going with this... And, maybe that’s exactly what needs to happen. I need to surrender my need for control. My life’s purpose is not for me to micromanage. My role has been largely predetermined. I may as well relax and go with it.
Since Mike died, there are so many thoughts and questions that rattle around in my head. It’s no wonder I’ve become quieter than I’ve ever been. Lately, I am isolating myself at home where I spend hours thinking. I’m lost in my thoughts. I have withdrawn myself and I am allowing life to pass me by while I’m contemplating what to do with my life. And, this bothers me - a lot. I want to get on with living. I’m tired of grief and overthinking being such a big part of my life.
I have no reason to believe that I won’t recreate a good life. I have the skills and determination to do this. By nature, I’m driven. And, I have the grit that is necessary to rebuild oneself.
I know what I am capable of. In the past, I have managed to be successful in my life whenever I put my mind to it. But, this feels different. Mike’s death has brought me to my knees in a way that nothing ever has before. My “recovery” is slow. And, I’m getting impatient with myself.
Despite my restlessness, I am slowly clawing my way back. But, where am I going? I still don’t have a destination in mind. In truth, I have no f@cking clue where I’m headed. I also have little to no idea what I really want.
Well, that’s a lie. I want my old life back, this I know for certain. But, I can not have it. So, what do I want given that this isn’t an option?
Ugh. So, here I am. I’ve rambled my way back to where I began.
I ask myself again and again how can I go about reengaging in life? The life I knew and loved has been radically changed. There is no returning to it. It’s over. I can’t just resume where we left off. I need to rebuild.
I’m the architect of my future. I’m in charge. I’m the site supervisor. I get to redesign my life from rock bottom. And, with hard work, I will rebuild myself from what I can salvage.
However, at this point, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted. And, I am unsure if I have the energy to carefully draft out the blueprints for my new life. But, I don’t have a choice. I have to start again whether I’m ready or not.
My desire to plan out my new life is overwhelming. And, in truth, mapping the details out is somewhat unnecessary in many ways. Months ago, I wrote about my need to tediously strategize my re-entry into life. After a lot of consideration, I concluded that in order to be successful I needed to loosen the reigns. This remains true.
I’ve learned that grief will periodically ‘circles the wagons’ and when this happens we must revisit some of the previous lessons we’ve been taught in order to understand them. I’ve also learned that I need to stop thinking so much. I remember that I don’t need to do a whole bunch of things to steer my life in the right direction. In fact, mostly, I need to breathe and let things go. I need to wholeheartedly believe that I’m heading in the right direction; despite not knowing where the hell I’m going. I need to trust that there is a plan bigger than me at work here. I need to close my eyes and just be patient.
No one can rescue me from life because my life, although not “perfect”, is exactly as it should be right now. I need to settle into it and accept my progress as it is. My life will unfold as it is destined to. I need to stop feeding my fears and anxiety. I need to resist wrestling with my thoughts. I need to simply believe that I am being lead toward a life better than I can imagine.
I will find my way back to life eventually. And, so will you. And, all of this will happen exactly as it’s meant to, when it’s meant to.
Love got me here,
Love will get me through,