Hi, everyone. First of all, thank you to Sarah and Mike for the warm welcome. I know that your words have been so meaningful and helpful to so many people. I am so honored to have the opportunity to be a part of Widow’s Voice. There are so many reasons why this means so much […]
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 […]
A metaphor that my counselor used once was the idea of going into the jungle and getting attacked by a tiger. And the next time you find yourself in a similar jungle, you are consumed by the fear of the tiger to the point of running away… when there was no tiger around for miles. In fact, you might even be in a jungle where tigers don’t even live, but you’re still standing there scared of a tiger. This is what trauma can do to us.
There is a giant void that lives in my chest. This isn’t a real thing; but, nonetheless, there seems to be a huge, heavy, invisible emptiness seems to take up all the room in my lungs. It feels like there is not enough space for air inside me. For the last 3.9 years my breath feels shallow. And, really, so does my life.
I am tired of being sad.
I am emotionally exhausted because I feel everything so deeply; and, also I feel nothing at the same time.
I am not sure which is worse.
Since Mike died, I feel every thing in color, but I am living in grey. I know that it is a tragedy to live like this, but I do not know how to change it. I just don’t feel joy anymore. Yes, I have fleeting moments of happiness; but nothing, not one damn thing has been lasting. I just can’t seem to find a way to remain tethered in the present moment long enough to experience genuine joy. I wonder if I will ever be capable of this again.
I have so much fear of becoming widowed again. Some days, that fear is louder than others… like anticipating my own personal asteroid out there that is going to crash into me on some unknown date in the future, creating a private apocalypse all over again.
July, that is.
The death month.
The month that he died.
For another year.
We now move into August,
and my anxiety finally gets to shut down for awhile.
I felt sad when I left the dealership as the owner of a new car. I knew I was supposed to feel happy. I mean they congratulated me on my purchase. Apparently this was big stuff. Purchasing a vehicle is supposed to be a big deal. But, I felt a bunch of nothing. Most people celebrate the purchase of something new. But, I didn’t feel particularly celebratory or happy. Instead, I felt the familiar emptiness that has lived inside me since he died. Most “normal” people would be sick from the lack of feelings I had; but I am used to feeling this heavy numbness. Being without feeling is normal for me; and, for this reason, I just carried on. I mindlessly drove…