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,
In every store you visit the shelves are lined with colorful, foil wrapped chocolate bunnies. They stand neatly organized in the aisles, adorned with ribbons and bows. At first glance, these holiday treats catch your eye because they look shiny and decadent. But, things aren't as they appear. We know the bunnies are hollow inside even though they look substantial. I am a lot like these chocolate Easter bunnies. I appear to have my life together. I look solid. But, the reality is that inside I feel empty because he died.
This may come off as slightly dramatic, but it is the truth. After 2.4 years, my life looks shiny and newly restored. Outwardly, things have remained stable and solid. In many ways I am a vision of widowed success. I returned to a good career, I still have the house, the car, and the kids. On the outside, the condition of my life looks good. Aside from Mike's death, my life may even be enviable to some; but things are not as they appear. Like the aesthetically pleasing chocolate bunnies, I look to be well dressed and professionally presented; but, inside me there is something lacking. Inside of me, in my Soul, the landscape is sterile. I am hollow inside like the foil bunnies. On the inside of me there is 'nothing'. Where there used to be unbridled joy there is now emptiness.
I bought a dress. In and of itself this isn’t some big deal. But, in my situation, this ordinary task is monumental and significant. I bought a dress because it caught me eye. I liked it. It is simple and classy. It is white with small black polka dots. In my mind, it seems like something I would like to wear in Paris.
I am visiting Europe this summer. In the past, I imagined going there with Mike. But, Mike died; and now this will never happen. Sure, people tell me he will “be” with me when I am there. And, yes, in Spirit, he will be. But, it is not the same. I feel awful saying this because I know Mike wishes it was different just as much as I do. But, his invisible “presence” is not enough. It is not as good as having him physically in my life. And, trust me, I have tried making it enough. It falls short and it always will.
I bought this simple summer dress knowing that he would never physically see me wearing it.
I bought this dress knowing that I will stand without him in a country that I’ve never been to wearing it.
I bought this dress knowing that as I am wearing it I will miss him.
I bought this dress for myself because there is no one else who will appreciate it on me anymore.
I bought this dress and it didn’t make me feel good. It didn’t make me feel bad either. But, like everything in my life, it was bittersweet.