How Much Time?

I'm sitting here thinking about the fact that one of our writers here at Widow's Voice, Rebecca, has decided to make that tough choice to leave our blog. Since I've been writing here, starting in May 2014, I've seen a few come and go, and part of me wonders how long I will be here. At what point do we feel it's the right time to leave? Of course, even if we are not writers we can still participate in reading and commenting and all of the other wonderful aspects of being a part of Soaring Spirits. But this sharing experience for me has been a huge source of support and made all the difference in my own journey of grief, and I don't feel ready to leave.


I don't feel ready to leave even though my life has taken several fairly significant turns during this time. I don't feel ready to give up that part of me that must, simply must, obsessively write about it all. I don't feel ready to say to myself, ok Stephanie, you're doing pretty well, you need to step aside and let someone else tell their story.


But maybe I am getting close. Right now I have this daunting task ahead of me of filing an enormous stack of paperwork for my foreclosure mediation. And regardless of what happens with that I feel the pressing need to purge my home of so much that has been collected over the years...I must face the fact that it is highly likely I will have to move sooner rather than later. And even if I don't, I need to clear out the old to make ready for the new. I will be looking at finally finding a way to part with larger items like Mike's surfboards, and bicycle. And one of these days I'll probably also need to part with his truck. 


This is just how life has presented itself to me. I try to react and make decisions, the best decisions I can, based on what appears in my path. I'm glad life has given me this time to sit with what I have had, to slowly work my way through the paralyzing idea that I’m still here even though Mike is not. I'm glad for my family, boyfriend, and other dear friends, both old and new, who have made such significant impacts on my life, my psyche, and my own feeling of value in this world.


I had a dream the other night that Mike was back. I saw him and said, hey, what are you doing here, I thought you were dead?? And he said something like, no, I'm was very confusing, he stayed somewhat hidden in a shadow, and in my dream I remember thinking, oh my god, that means I'm not really a widow, I can't write for Widow's Voice any longer, what will everyone say when they find out he wasn't really dead? It was super strange. It was a dream, of course, a world where nothing really makes much sense to our waking minds, but I felt sad that I would no longer be connected to the widowed community.


Silly, right? Who wouldn't want their husbands back no matter what? Of course I did want him back and was so surprised and happy to see him but that lingering feeling that my widowed journey had been a lie was very strong. I do feel connected to everyone. I know I always will, like Rebecca, no matter how long I remain a writer. 


Occasionally someone who doesn’t really understand about grief or widowhood says things like, isn't it hard to write about it every week, doesn't it bring it all up again and make it hard to move on? Why stay in the world of grief anymore if you don't have to? Stuff like that. You know the types. They mean well but they have no idea that our grief is a permanent passenger in our future lives, even if we have other happy and exciting adventures and opportunities too. That being part of an organization like Soaring Spirits makes it easier, not harder. They don't know there is no moving on, only forward...a subtle but important difference. I have learned this, writing here, and journeying through my own life after Mike's death. And I will admit that a part of me is beginning to find that I am able to live with it. I am in fact, still alive, and so yes, I am living with it, through good days and bad. I never could have imagined feeling that, admitting that, or writing that, two years ago. But here I am. I have gotten stronger every day. No matter how much time will go by, for me here at this blog or in life in general, I know life will continue to throw curve balls, but as I put one foot ahead of the other, one step at a time, I know I will be able to survive it. 


I hope, anyway.


Showing 3 reactions

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  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2016-08-04 21:59:00 -0700
    Stephanie I too am glad for your choice to stay awhile. I miss each writer as they go, but carry their words with me every day. This “moving forward” that we do is excruciating at times, but we have no choice really. So I’m forever grateful for the connections I have here. Every writer and every reader is living my life – knowing that makes all the difference.
  • Sharon Wall
    commented 2016-08-04 18:07:07 -0700
    I’m glad you don’t feel ready to leave yet although I understand asking the question of yourself. I would miss your posts!! A lot!! I can’t believe how I consistently relate to your experiences and appreciate your insight.

    And about parting with our husband’s stuff – I recently sold Brian’s motorcycle. I feel great that it’s on the road again with someone who is enjoying it a lot! I hope you can have the same experience as you part with Mike’s bicycle and surfboards.
  • Karin Pearson
    commented 2016-08-04 13:35:17 -0700
    Steph, I am soooo glad you have decided not to stop your posts just yet. With your possible departure from the island, it would be too much to deal with at one time (I know, how did I make this all about me??)!! I am so grateful to have found this site and that is because you are a weekly writer. It is now part of my daily routine and will continue to be for the rest of my life. I only wish it were around 12 years ago when I was newly widowed! I am also so grateful for your support and friendship! Here’s to moving forward!