For the past year I have been lucky enough to share my life and thoughts with you all. My time as come to end, another chapter finished. It has been a blessing to have the opportunity to write for such an amazing organization. And although the point may have been to help those getting through one of the hardest times of their life, this has really been the best therapy I could have ever received.
There is no short cut through grief. It is a process we will have to walk. It is the price of love. But with courage and strength (even on days when you don't think you have an ounce left in you) you can make it through. You do not come to a finish line there is no end but the mountain turns into a hill. Something bearable to walk.
I encourage you all to push yourself. When you feel like you have nothing left, keep going. When your will to live is weak and all you want is to be with the one you lost, keep going. When life without your loved one scares the crap out of you and you just want to hide forever, just keep going.
Accepting that you are still here and they are not is one of the hardest parts. You want time to stop, the world to stop spinning. But this universe will stop for no one. Time is a sick joke give to us. Maybe one day we will be able to understand it all better. But for now all we know is it is limited.
So I encourage you to live! Live out your days with smiles and laughter. Memories of your loved one will never fade you. But don't get stuck in the past look ahead to brighter days. Believe that you deserve happiness and find it. Find it in your children, find it in the ocean waves, find it in knowing you can do something amazing still.
I can not say everything happens for a reason. I do not believe it whole heartedly. But I do believe that I have life and love left inside me. My heart will always have cracks and that's ok. There will always be a dark shadow on my soul that was left the night he left. An imprint of what was supposed to be. But you have two choices in life, let it destroy you and waste your time here on this planet or let it turn you into a Phoenix born again from the flames.
Whether you are a young widow like me or in your older years. Whether you lost them in the blink of an eye or a long slow death. You scars are yours alone and you must walk your path alone. You must find the light inside yourself and allow it to burn you into something new and amazing.
I will never forget Joey or the loved we shared. But for my sake and my children's I will push on to great things. I will finish school and do what I have always wanted. And I will find love again one day. Not because anyone is replaceable, they aren't. But because this life is giving me more time and I will use it all to the fullest.
Tears and heartache are never far from daily life. But so is joy and love. Even on the darkest days if you try hard enough you can find something beautiful. Look for it. Cry and scream but always find something to be thankful for.
If you are just beginning this journey know that weight that is making you feel like you are going to crumble into a million pieces gets lighter. If you are a veteran I thank you for your kind words you have shared with me in my dark moments. And if you are lost and can't seem to find that light, know it's not far. It's inside you, let it out. Shine and don't feel guilty for it.
You are still here. Don't just exist. Live.