.... are very heavy to wear for a long period of time and they tend to make my face sweat.
I really thought that I was done wearing them after Jim died. I couldn't wear them. I didn't have the energy to snap them into place and keep them from sliding off.
So I didn't.
But now, now that it's a year and a half later; I am finding out that some people prefer the masks. I don't think they actually realize that they do, but they don't need words to convey this message.
Our society seems to think that there is a time-limit on how long one should grieve. Of course, no one would dare say that ....at least not to my face, but they think it.
And they think that I should be moving on.....every day getting better and better.
Sometimes when I realize they're thinking this, I wonder if there's something wrong with me?
Should I be happier? Should I not ever be depressed? Should I be ready to find a new love?
And then I thank God that I am strong enough to know that the answer to those questions is firmly, "No!"
There is no time limit on how long I will grieve the death of the only man I've ever loved. There is no limit to the pain I feel at not having my best friend here with me.
There is no limit to the loneliness I feel in mothering my children without their father.
I know that I will feel better.
I know that I will adjust to this new life.
I know that I will be happy again.
But I also know that I don't have those dates circled on my calendar.
Don't get me wrong ....I would LOVE to know when all of this will occur! I'd LOVE to wake up tomorrow and feel like a new person with a huge amount of joy and zest for life.
But I'm not stupid.
And so I wait.
And I enjoy the good times.
And I grieve during the sad times.
And, because it's easier to just "get along”.....I sometimes snap on a mask.
It certainly makes me sad to feel that I have to do that. No one should have to do it.
But.....thankfully (for them), not everyone "gets" this life, do they?
And because I do have to sometimes wear a mask.....I am ever so grateful for the people in my life who do not require me to wear them.
I'm grateful for the people who love me enough to want to know and see and feel as much of my pain and grief as they can.
I am grateful for the people who are not watching their calendars with a skeptical eye.
I am grateful for love.
Amazingly deep, unconditional, safe love.
And I pray that I can always provide that kind of love for the other women on this path.
Because each one of you is a safe person who requires no mask.
And to you I say, "Thank you."
And "Please lock your mask away whenever we speak. You are amazingly wonderful in just being you."