It is my privileged to write to you each week and I hope my blog inspires you to question what is stirring in your heart. I encourage you to lean into your grief. And, to feel it to it's depth. This isn't easy, but it is the only way through this mess.
I believe that we are lead back towards life and living when we allow ourselves to be still, and sit in the "nothingness" where grief lives. Visiting this empty place is difficult, but it is necessary. This quiet place holds the blueprints of our new, changed life.
I know you are scared to go to the edge of this place; admittedly, I am too. But, we have to take a leap of faith. With time, I am gathering momentum, and I am going to leap and build my wings on the way down.
It has been over two years since Mike died and I realize that what I fear most about the future is not the risks and uncertainty. What I am afraid of is letting the opportunities for change pass me by. I am afraid that I will settle into an ordinary life when I want an extraordinary life.
I am worried that I will play small, when my potential is big. As I write to you each week I am challenging us both not to shrink. I am keeping us accountable. I do not want either of us to fall back into an easy comfortableness when we can leap forward, towards a bold life. I want you to manifest the best in yourself. Go on, begin to recreate a beautiful life for yourself.
From the Ledge with Wings in Hand,
Most people on the periphery assume we are strong because they see us doing life. They see us on our driveways. They watch us get into our vehicles as we are on our way to participate in the stuff of living. Yes, we are doing things. They are witness to it. And, the assumption is that we’ve got this. And, maybe part of us does have this. But, there is also a big part of us that is just not okay. At best, we are “okayish” which leaves room for improvement.
In our new life, we participate in activities and half-heartedly go through the motions because after a while, despite our brokenness, we must return to our responsibilities. On ordinary days, I frantically multitask because where there was once two people adulting, now there is only one. Without choice, I now bear the full weight of life in suburbia.
Like many of you reading this, I continue to: raise children, maintain my career, pay my mortgage, plan holidays, unclog drains, and even liberally apply moss killer to the lawn. I pay my bills online while I sit in my car waiting for my son to finish his haircut. I renew house insurance, attend graduations, get routine oil changes on my vehicle, and take my kid to the orthodontist. I stand in line waiting for shaved ham at the deli counter. And, then I lovingly pack this ham into bagged lunches. And, on most days, while doing all this, I attempt to comb my hair into a style that doesn’t resemble frazzled.
Widowed people do this stuff.
All of it.
Every last thing.
We fall back into the mundane rhythm of an ordinary life.
Except our new existence is far from ordinary.
We diligently do all the things life requires of us.
But, now, there is a distinct hollowness to it.
Every single day we make something hard look easy.
I had these exact same thoughts a year ago; and, tonight I wonder if any of this ever gets easier.
Am I a lousy widow?
Am I doing this wrong?
What the hell am I supposed to do?
What can I do to make any of this better?
Is this even possible.
Is it fair to assume that I will recover from Mike's death?
Still, 2.5 years later almost every thought still begins with him.
I am still unable to live in the moment because part of me lives in the past.
I struggle to be present because in my mind I am endlessly travelling to a better place in time.
Again and again I return to this place where he existed once upon a time.
Time has gone on without him and I am left here living in limbo...