Blind Faith

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,

 

~Staci

 

 

 


Showing 12 reactions

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  • Linda Poehler
    commented 2018-09-25 18:51:04 -0700 · Flag
    Exactly how I feel. This is me. I dont look forward to the future because I dont really want one. To others looking in, my life is moving on. I travel. My kids are great. Business is good. In a survivor. But I get to the end of the day and just retreat to a place I really want to be. Alone and missing Paul. And being sad with the memories of all that Ive lost. I feel sometimes that I’m being stubborn. I want what I want…and that is my REAL life back. And if I can’t have that, then I dont want anything else. I suppose someday I’ll have to be something other than Paul’s widow. But for now I just dont want to. And that will have to be OK for a while.
  • Susan McAlpine
    commented 2018-09-25 17:15:07 -0700 · Flag
    Like others have said, Staci, I feel I could have written this! I had no idea others felt like I do…like I’m marking time. It doesn’t make my future clearer, but it is somewhat comforting that someone else feels like I do!
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-10 11:37:10 -0700
    Kathleen.
    Stay the course. Things will get softer with time…
    Best to you and to us all.
    ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-10 11:36:07 -0700
    Stephanie,
    Thank you for your comment. It isn’t easy “getting out of our own way”, but it is necessary. With time and hard work we can all recreate a future – and, yes, it is absolutely different than the one we imagined, but, this doesn’t mean it will not be good in it’s own way.
    9 months is still early days in grief. Be gentle on yourself. This is not easy stuff.
    ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-10 11:32:08 -0700
    Jana,
    I agree that there is value in accepting life as it is. Being “okay”, not being okay is perfectly acceptable in this circumstance.
    Best to you.
    ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-10 11:30:05 -0700
    Ron I have been directionless for a while too. Be patient and trust that you will drift toward where you belong. For a long time I was determined to steer the direction of my ship, but I think if you loosen your grip on the wheel, things fall into place. See my blogs Quiet and Joy Seeker, they both discuss what is weighing heavy on your mind. You can find all the blogs I’ve written by going to the tags (blue tags) and search for my name Staci Sulin.
    I hope maybe some of what I wrote will validate your feelings.
    Best to you.
    ~S.
  • Staci Sulin
    commented 2018-09-10 10:40:09 -0700
    Laren, I understand that it is anxiety provoking – going forward into the unknown. I think we all feel a bit fearful about living a future that is so unlike what we imagined.

    Wouldn’t it be reassuring if we were given a “map”. But, that is not how this works. Life unfolds as it does. We just have to take a step forward and trust that we are going in the right direction.
    Godspeed to us all.
    ~S
  • Stephanie Hughes
    commented 2018-09-07 09:47:06 -0700
    Staci- as usual, your eloquent writing says what so many of us feel too. Like Ron, I too am 9 months out, and while I beginning to slowly stabilize from the horrific waves of grief, I don’t know how to move forward. Thank you for posting what could have my own post, as it’s exactly how I feel. I just have to have faith that I need to get out of my own way and let my life renew itself, somehow.
  • Jana Bresenden
    commented 2018-09-06 11:30:51 -0700
    You are so brave Staci. Thank you for beautifully sharing what so many of us feel. Losing my soulmate forced me to look at my life in a completely new way…how do you go on as one half of a dynamic duo? At times, I’ve been crippled with heartache. During others, I’ve soared with a sense of accomplishment. One practice that has helped me is being open to the possibility of being OK with what IS. As in, “It will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.” Love what you are doing.
  • Kathleen Chappina
    commented 2018-09-05 21:32:15 -0700
    That’s me😭
  • Ron Marro
    commented 2018-09-05 06:35:15 -0700
    This is so much the way I feel. I am almost nine months out and I can not even think of a direction. Lost and lonely is my direction right now. I work at engaging but I really do not want to. I know Sandi is gone and will never return, so now what. Just because I know it in my head my heart stopped the day she died. Thank you for so articulately sharing.
  • Laren Tolbert
    commented 2018-09-03 11:38:29 -0700
    Staci, so much of what you say resonates with me. I’m hoping I will have a Saul on the road to Damascus moment but it’s not happening. At my age (69) I don’t have many years left. I don’t want to waste them grieving about what is lost, but I haven’t found anything to replace them with yet. Yes, I must go forward, but how? I’m going forward in a blizzard, and I don’t know where forward is.