As my grief continues to evolve, I carefully consider who I am today. And, I recognize and accept that both potential and lost possibilities coexist in me. This duality is one of the hallmarks of widowhood. I am at once full of potential; and, concurrently, I have lost my ability to fulfill some of my previous desires. This is just plain lousy. I won’t pretend it isn’t.
I have learned that grief evolves. It changes with time and hard work. The changes are not always linear, but they do occur. Grief is not everlasting, if you don’t want it to be. There is a new life to be found, if you look for it. There is opportunities to find small moments of joy if you are open to it. If you aren’t, then that is a choice too. But, that choice is wrongminded for me. I have life. I didn’t die. So, to honor Mike, I will continue to try to live the best life I can. Life has been denied to him, but it is still available to me – my birthday reminds me of this.
After a lot of reflection, I finally understood and realized that I was left to minister myself the love Mike can no longer physically and emotionally provide to me. When you are widowed, you are invited into a new relationship with yourself. You are given the opportunity to build a deep, loving relationship with yourself. This relationship is built on a foundation of unconditional love for yourself. And, arguably, this relationship with Self may be the most important relationship of your life.
I have found that with practice, I am becoming more proficient at self love and self care.
I have become my own friend. My own champion. My own companion. I am a lover of myself.
And, this is a beautiful way to honor my dead lover.
It has been hard, but I have accepted that there is no returning to who I was. In the fifth year of widowhood that is before me, I will try to focus on who I am becoming. I will continue recreating myself. And, I will work to become more comfortable with who I am. While I become this new woman, I recognize that both my potential and lost possibilities coexist inside me. This is one of the hallmarks of widowhood. Another dualism I acknowledge is that both grief and hope can coexist in the same heart.
Each year, I feel myself falter and fall when the leaves change color because I know that Mike’s death date is looming large. Thankfully, over the years, I have learned to trust that I can and I will break my fall using my own grit and grace. With time, I have come to value and appreciate the beauty in my own strength. Now, I believe in myself the same way Mike believed in me. This is big, big stuff. This is Mike continuing to love on me from across dimensions.
I have come to know my own capability. Finally, I see what he saw in me. It is ironic that it took Mike’s death for me to see myself in the light he saw me in. With this reflection, I now have the ability to fiercely love myself – the way he once did. What a way to honor the big love he had for me. In his absence, I can love myself wholly and madly for him and because of him. This is how Mike’s love lives on. And, this feels pretty wonderful.
Living forward is a tedious act. We live and we grieve… the two things are not exclusive of one another. Early on I did not understand this. I thought I had to find a “cure” for my grief. I have discovered that there isn’t such a thing. Grief exists because the love exists. And, like our love, our grief will remain in some capacity – forever. There is no other way for it to be. And, I am okay with this. I have to be.
It is nearly four years since Mike died and yes I still cry, but now my recovery time is quick. The turn around between tears and living can be compared to the space between breaths. It is almost indistinguishable. The time between my tears falling and my life interrupting is fleeting at best. Tears fall and I don’t miss a beat anymore. I guess you could say that I have become very proficient at living with the grief.
My life, like every widowed person’s life, is a delicate balance between soul crushing missing and a both feeble and fierce attempt at living as normal of a life as possible. There, hidden among my regular routine life, is an ache that runs so deep inside me that if feels like it is not even separate from me.
My grief is part of who I am. And, really, my grief is not grief at all. It is love.
My tears are not necessarily tears of sadness, more accurately, they are love tears.
I can feel change… I am on the cusp of a beautiful new life. After fumbling along the dim and rutted path of grief, I have finally come to a clearing. I have found my way out of the dark and I am standing on the edge of a peaceful place. A place that will lead me back to the light. I have a hunch that I am headed towards a wonderful life. A life I have desperately wanted to recreate since he died. I can actually feel a full and authentic life waiting for me just around the corner. It is calling out to me. I have been directionless for so long, but somehow I now know the way out. I will find my way out by instinct. I will follow my heart. I will travel by feel.
I feel like I am heading toward the homestretch. I have used up nearly all my reserve energy fighting my way back to life; and, now, I am on a type of natural high. And, I am going to make a break for it. I imagine myself sprinting toward the new life I sense waiting for me. I am madly running toward my new life. I am bolting towards the unknown like my life depends on it. And, in a very real way it does.
Life after the death of the person you love is weird. It is confusing. Mind numbing. Empty. Lacklustre. And, a bunch of other feelings and things. I’m sitting in my car typing this. I’m parked in the culdesac across from what used to be Mike’s house. Our house. The place where our little love story […]
In about six weeks Mike will have been dead for four years. Wow. That seems like a fairly long time; and, at the same time, it feels like he was alive just moments ago. Death does strange things to time for those of us who are left behind. It is as though our clocks forever […]
There are qualities that I yearn to possess again. Things both tangible and otherwise. There are attributes both big and small that I miss about the woman I used to be. Namely, I miss her joy. I miss being joyful and joy filled. I miss being completely enamoured with my life. I miss being happy. I miss feeling content. I miss being at ease in my own life.
Mike brought to life all these things inside me; and, without him, I have not been able to successfully recreate any of this. After nearly four years, I have been unable to find my place in the world without him. I endlessly search for a sense of belonging. I work tirelessly to reestablish a feeling of contentment and I have been largely unsuccessful. All feelings of joy and peace that I have experienced since he died have been fleeting at best. *Sigh.
Yes, I miss him, but it is more than just missing Mike now. I miss what he brought to my life and who he brought out in me; and it bothers me that without him I seem unable to manufacture my own sense of happiness. I miss all that I was when I was his. I miss sharing my life with a man who utterly adored me. I miss being wildly and madly in love. I miss the all the richness Mike brought to my life. I miss the woman I was when he walked the Earth by my side. And, I hate that it is so ridiculously hard to live without some of the best things you ever had. But, I am doing it because I was not given a choice. We are all persisting and living forward because life demands that of us, but this sure is weighty stuff.
The first year I felt angry when I saw older people living when Mike was not. I felt that it was unfair that so many old people were alive while my fiancé died before our wedding. I felt guilty about my misplaced feelings of anger and resentment and jealousy. Mike was denied his old age, […]