Widowhood does not come with a map. In the beginning, there are no familiar landmarks and the curves on the road are unfamiliar. As you set out on your way, you will spend a great deal of time bumping into things as you shimmy along, and that's okay. The important thing is that you are moving and forward momentum is always a good thing. It's likely that you will not know what direction you are headed in, and that is okay too. It is time to have faith that everything will be "okay", somehow.
There have been many new beginnings born from Mike's death. I have met new people and some of these new acquaintances have become friends. And, further, some of these friends speak in Grief's mother tongue. I easily understand them because I am now fluent in grief. These new friends understand the language my heart speaks and there is great comfort in this. However, widowhood is a long journey and it demands solo traveling at times. My friends can accompany me and offer me empowering advice and encourage me with their words; but, I must recreate a life for myself. I need to navigate my way through this "mess" - no one can do this for me.
Wading through the quagmire of grief isn't easy stuff.
But, in order to re-engage in life we must sort through the broken shards of the life we imagined.
This is tedious.
This is grueling.
Simply put, it is hard work.
My fingers are bloody and raw from clawing my way back towards life.
But, bloody fingers aside, I know that the life ahead of me is worth it.
Re-entering life, without Mike, is the most difficult thing I have attempted to do in my life. There is a lot of uncertainty in my future, but more importantly, there is potential. Before me are boundless opportunities.
Once again, I find myself on a ledge. I am paused because I am scared. But, even more significant, I am excited. I am actually somewhat enthusiastic about life again. I feel it - I am standing on the edge of something big. And, in time, I am going to leap towards the new life that is waiting for me. And, I KNOW that I will land on my feet - somehow.
After one year, six months, and six days,
Almost every thought still begins with you.
I am unable to live completely in the moment,
And, I struggle to be present,
In my mind,
I am endlessly travelling to a better place in time,
Again and again.
I return to this place,
Where you existed once upon a time.
Time. It goes on...
When his heart stopped, the hands of time were unaffected. I thought I felt time stand still when I saw his lifeless body; but, time itself callously marched on when he died. Time did not stop. Not even for a moment - in spite of my circumstance. The world just carried on without Mike. But, my world was left in ruin when the life I knew ended. However, from the wreckage, something bigger than me, dragged me out from the rubble created by my shattered Soul. I was rescued because my heart is still beating. My life didn't end when Mike's did. Life is for the living; and, now, I'm left to figure out how to do just that...
Almost immediately after his death, life demanded things of me. On a surface level, I was forced to participate in life because children need raising. Work needs to be completed. Bills need to be paid. Dishes need doing. Laundry needs folding. Lawns need mowing. Things need to be said. I need to show up. There are people to meet and obligations to attend to. Life has not stopped because Mike no longer exists here in this dimension. Time has gone on and I've carried along with it.
Life demands participation - even after your person dies. Life is unavoidable. And, in truth, this is a good thing. At this point, there is no part of me that intentionally wishes to escape living. I think this is why my heart feels so heavy. I want to breathe life in again. I absolutely want to feel alive again; but, re-entering life is much more difficult than I imagined it would be.
Over the last 532 days, I have taken a fair bit of time to think about my future. After much thought and consideration, I have concluded that my life will be magical again - eventually. I know that my life will be everything I ever dreamed it could be. Life will be beautiful - again. Maybe even more lovely than I've ever imagined... And, the truth is, so will yours if you want it to be.
A year ago, if someone told me that my life would fall into place again I would have hoped what they were telling me was right. The problem is that hope does not provide a sense of contentment because hope can only take you so far. It is just a starting point. There is a big difference between hoping and knowing. Now, inside my heart, I know, without a doubt, that I will be okay. In truth, I know that I will be better than okay. And, let me be completely realistic, this peace of mind has been well earned. I have spent the better part of seventeen-and-a-half months working hard to come to this place. The sense of peace I am feeling hasn't come easy, but it is well deserved.
I have come to believe that everything in my life is going according to plan. A plan that is much bigger than me or Mike. I do not know exactly what the plan is; but, I know that I am being lead in the right direction. Recently, my mindset has become different and I am better for the change. I am more content since I've acknowledged that the plan itself is none of my business. Sure, it's my life and I am obviously interested in the outcome; but, I mean it, what happens to me is really not for me to worry about. I am much more at peace now that I have loosened the reigns; and, I am confident that my future is in better hands than mine.
Since I have removed myself from the responsibility of leading me in the right direction, I no longer feel that it is necessary to plan every little detail about my life. I am so grateful that I am no longer endlessly strategizing and envisioning elaborate scenarios in my mind. Existing with this mindset was completely exhausting and unnecessary. It's ironic, now, I do less; and, this has made all the difference. Less is really more.
I know that whatever will be, will be - in spite of what I do, or do not do. It seems so simple, but for the longest time this concept was beyond me. After Mike died I thought I had to "fix" my life and my broken self. Now, I understand that my life is going to be exactly as it is intended to be and the best thing I can do is move aside and let things unfold. I know this might sounds lofty, or naive, or over simplistic. I assure you, I am not trying to sugarcoat my thoughts. I am just sharing what I've come to know. I really believe that by relinquishing the control I was desperately clinging to I am now heading in the right direction, in spite of myself.
In the past, when I was trying to steer my life, I was holding the wheel so tight that I wasn't enjoying the drive. I was missing the point. Now, I have stopped trying to control my destiny. I am no longer interfering in the direction of my life because I have faith that I am being lead towards the future I am intended to live. And, now, I am finally able to relax a bit. But, I am an overachiever so relaxing hasn't lasted as long as I hoped...Read more
Good advice, right? I have always liked to pass that piece of advice onto my kids whenever I had the opportunity. “Take time off before University. Go see the world. Live your life while you can.” That’s what we used to say to them. We had all sorts of tidbits of advice which included, "Happiness is a choice, so choose it." "Be a good person." "Work hard." "Be kind" and "Live Your Life". We only get one of them.
But then Ben died, and everything changed. I became torn between wanting my kids to live their lives and wanting them home with me every second. I became obsessed with controlling everything they did, even when I knew I was being ridiculous. Even when a little voice inside my head told me to lay off or they would say "Sayonara Mama" and move right out of this house so that they no longer had me breathing down their necks. Even when I caused my son immense frustration. Even when I made my daughter cry.
It seems that after Ben died I no longer wanted them to live the life they wanted … I wanted them to live the life that I wanted. And I wanted them home, safe, and with me every minute.Read more
This week I have been filled with and unexpected strength, I have still cried almost every day but I feel strong within myself for the first time in a long time. I’ve struggled with insomnia since December. Generally waking two or three times a night. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t usually go to be till around 11 and with continuous broken sleep I still somehow cannot sleep in past 6.30am.
The other morning I woke after only four hours sleep, I made myself a coffee and walked outside to gather my thoughts. At first sight I noticed light filled rain drops resting on leaves and with that I was taken back to last year. To the memories of falling asleep with John on hot rainy nights and waking in his arms to vibrant sunny mornings.
With that, I thought to myself there are times in life now that it rains and it pours. Storm clouds roll in and it feels as though they are here to stay. However we weather it out and sunlight inevitably breaks through the dark clouds leaving behind beautiful drops of dew.Read more