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,
After nearly three years, my grief is different than before. It is what happens. As human beings we are made strong. From the beginning of this mess, my Soul has been striving to continually adapt to this alternate life. And, I have. I have managed to live without him - even when I was certain I could not. As people, we are hard wired to survive awful things. The human experience is not all good, and if you consider what people endure and survive it is pretty awe inspiring
Recently, my grief has evolved a lot. And, no I am not "better". I am just different. My grief has become somewhat easier to carry. I don't struggle to take it with me as much as I did before. Most days, I sling my grief over my shoulder and march out into the world. This is not some heroic feat, it is just what I do each day. It is what all grievers do. And, really, what else can we do? We carry on. We live forward because there is no other choice.
And, because we carry on, most people assume that we have somehow become "okay" because our eyes are not usually glistening with tears anymore. Well, it is kind of a facade. As widowed people we make something incredibly hard look easy. We live without the person we love and it is damn hard. Beyond hard actually. And, still, somehow, I am mostly "okay" without him. I have created a way to move through life more gracefully now, but my grief is still there. It underlies everything. It is part of who I am.
I started my blog by saying that my grief is different. And, it is. The changes in my grief that I am most happy about are not visible. The changes that have made the biggest impact on my grief can not be seen from the outside because these changes are changes of the heart. For the last 2.8 years, I have been working hard at processing my grief and I have made big gains. But, for the most part, I continued to feel out of sorts no matter what I figured out in my head. I felt restless and I lacked contentment. And, largely, I still feel restless, but I am more content now. A strong sense of peace has washed over me because I have finally begun to accept Mike's death in both my head and my Heart. I have had a change of heart and this is making all the difference.
This Sunday, I woke up early because I drove my son to work for 7am. I found myself at a local coffee shop which isn’t any big deal, except that it is.
I drove by the coffeeshop that Mike and I went to when he was alive. I drove by it on purpose. I made a choice not to go there this morning.
Drinking coffee in our coffeeshop doesn’t bring Mike back to life. Death and coffee don’t work like that. Obviously, I’ve always known this; but, early on, I did it anyways. Hoping against hope, I would sit in our spot desperately praying that Mike would walk through the door. Now, after 2.8 years of widowhood, those days of wishful thinking are nearly over. It’s different now.
Recently, I’ve begun to accept the permanence of his death. In my head, I’ve know the foreverness of it all for a while now; but, in my heart, I just couldn’t grasp it. And, truthfully, a part of me still can’t. But, I’m starting to make headway with acceptance; and this is making all the difference.