I wrote about Grief’s evolution on February 8, 2021 and I will revisit this concept again in this blog.
My blog in February started with this…
It’s the truth.
With time and hard work it becomes less consuming.
Know that these changes do not happen all at once or in a linear fashion.
Day by day grief slowly evolves.
And, as months turn into years,
Grief continues to show up.
It remains present…
I now know and accept that grief will be my companion for the rest of my life.
It’s true, 4.2 years later, my tears fall less frequently.
But they *still* fall.
I have these stale tears because the love remains.
And, because the love stays, the missing does too.
The missing underlies the laughter.
But, I am so very, very grateful that there is laughter again, finally.
Grief and Joy can learn to coexist inside you.
This is the beauty and strength of the human spirit.
A long time ago, I did not understand any of this. I thought that I had to defeat my grief. I misunderstood the task. I thought it was my job to overcome it. I did not understand that instead of fighting my grief, I needed to live my life along side it. I needed to befriend it. I realized sometime in the second year that I had to build a good life around the grief that is within me. I realized that I needed to surrender and fall into harmony with it. I knew that I somehow needed to allow my grief to incorporate itself into my bones. I had to become one with it, and I have.
Once I absorbed my grief into my bones, I was able to move through life in a far less clumsy way. As counterintuitive as it sounds, by allowing my grief to make a home within me, I was finally able to free myself of it. With grief comfortably housed inside me, I was able to live with more agility and this new found agility has allowed me to open my wings and soar.
When I finally learned to allow both my grief and my unbridled, wild hunger for life to coexist within me, I rediscovered a the contentment that I had within me when he was alive. By merging my grief with my insatiable desire to live forward, I found a sense of peace that had eluded me previously. This coexistence is the only peaceful way I’ve been able to manage my grief.
This last year, I have allowed my grief to “be”. To become a part of me. To just “be” within me. I stopped my tantrum against it. I just accepted that grief was here to stay. And, I must emphasize, grief is not who I am; I am so much more than Mike’s widow. But, undeniably, my grief is a part of my psyche.
As I have explained, over the years, I have come to know that grief is not my enemy. My grief is just my love for him. And, I can wrap my head around this love, even if it no longer requires my arms. This is what I needed to do all along, except I didn’t because I did not recognize my grief for what it was. Now, I see that my grief is simply my love for Mike in disguise.
Now, the mask is off. I know what my grief is. I can give it a name now. My grief is my love and I know it is not going anywhere. I am okay with this. I am no longer trying to outrun it. I’ve given my grief a place within me and I am building my new life around it. I am confident that the bones of me are strong. I know that I am going to be okay, more than okay; and so are you.
Well five more months have passed since I wrote the second blog in the series of “evolution” blogs. Since then, my grief has continued to evolve. Grief, like life does this. It evolves and changes. Grief is fluid. It moves through us and with us. It is not static. Nothing in life is – we know this all too well.
I am proud about all the changes that I actioned in my life recently. I sold my house of fourteen years and I purchased a new home too. My life is currently unsettled and chaotic at the moment; and, surprisingly, I am the calmest I have been since Mike died. Weird and cool too.
In the midst of big change I am fairly chill for a lot of reasons. I am letting my life to unfold without me interfering in it and this is not easy for me. I have a lifetime of overthinking to undo. “Being” in the moment and allowing people and things to land as they are meant to goes against everything in me. Still, I know this is best practice. I am diligently practicing “being” in the moment. And, as I do this, the love remains. Mike is “with” me in all that I do. He is present for all that I accomplish and he is “here” to witness all that I am. The Love between us continues on for eternity.
And, I admit, even more than Mike’s love, I am focussing on my own love these days. Love of Self is my priority. I prioritize Self Love because it is the love that will elevate me to where I want to be. Self Love is everything I need in order to recreate a beautiful life for myself and my children.
After 4.7 years, I can write to you and say that I actually like my life once again. And, I am almost sort of “happy” again too. I have come to accept my life without him; and, I am also excited about my future. These are all things that I could not imagine when Mike first died. But, alas, I am a very different widow than the one who began writing to you in 2018. Early on, I created mantras for myself so that I could somehow survive in a world where he is not. Once upon a time I used to say, “love got me here, and love will get me through”. And… it has. I was right. Love (in all its forms) for the win.
“We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.”