In my fifth year of widowhood, I am trying to focus on who I am becoming. I will not pretend that I am “okay” without him. I am not. However, I am not entirely awful either…
Four years and a handful of days later, I am in limbo without Mike. I am in a holding pattern of sorts. I am holding steady because it is necessary. Currently, in the stillness that is my grief, I am doing purposeful work.
In this motionless place, I can feel big changes within myself. I am unthawing. I am coming back to life and it feels wonderful. A big part of returning to life has involved conscious choice. I am tired of all the sadness. The truth is, I am beyond tired. My Soul is fatigued. But, while weary, I am now also filled with excitement and energy too.
I desperately want to feel alive again. I wildly rage against the lacklustre feeling my life has taken on without him; and, despite all the disappointment and the endless aloneness, I continue recreating myself. I have remained focussed. I keep moving forward in a world where he no longer exists. Day after day I breath life back into my tired Soul.
For years, I have worked incredibly hard to become more and more comfortable with who I am becoming. The result of all this difficult work is that I genuinely like the woman I am today. I like who I am without him. Yep. That is the truth. I like who I am, even without Mike. Wow. That is pretty big progress.
I clawed my way back to life when I thought I would die of sadness and becoming a new woman is my reward. Early on, I made a deliberate choice. I decided that I would not allow Mike’s death to define the rest of my life. I knew that to do so would be a tragedy. The woman Mike loved would never be satisfied only being his Widow. Sure, being Mike’s Widow is part of who I am, but I am so much more than this. Widowhood is not the sum total of who I am. Not even close.
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.
The trajectory of my life changed drastically when Mike died and ever since he took his last breath I have been madly re-charting the route. I had to find my way by heart. There is no map in grief. You travel by instinct. You create our own direction.
On this unchosen road, I know that I will miss experiencing some of the good things that could have been because I have been forced onto an alternative path; but, I am pretty sure that this new road will lead me to some good places too. Still, I mourn deeply for what might have been. I still think about the life I thought I’d be living because nothing so far has come close to being as wonderful as the life I lost. Still, despite nothing noteworthy unfolding yet, I know that there are big possibilities ahead for me. Most importantly I FEEL big, bold goodness coming straight for me. I feel like a brand new, beautiful life is going to welcome me soon… It is a hunch I have.
Today as I write to you, I share that both grief and hope coexist in my heart. And, in the Season of Hope, this tired heart of mine is betting the house on hope because I have to. I have to believe that my life didn’t end when Mike’s did. I have to cling to the chance that a good future is ahead of me. And, I absolutely believe that I will be “okay” – eventually. I think that my life will be good once again because I won’t have it any other way, and neither will Mike.