I can’t tell you how I manage to pull off a post every week, or how I have done so for the past three and a half years here. I get asked that a lot. Some weeks I know exactly what I want to write. Other weeks I feel dry…uninspired, lackluster and done. Then suddenly something will move me. Feeling overcome with emotion in a moment, a vision of something in our world, something a friend says, a memory I have. Sometimes it’s just a phrase that comes to me.
Sometimes I start writing and never title it. It remains in my files, which Apple titles for me, Blank 22 or Blank 24. Sometimes I go back and read what I’d started, and I find I can finish.
Other times I just know the title, but nothing more. This is one of those times. I think maybe a friend said that to me, or I read it somewhere, this phrase.
I’ve had a busy week. I’m working nearly every day, moving, and still studying. I’m also getting ready to leave tonight for a few weeks to visit family for the holidays. It feels like there are not enough hours in the day. What to write?
So I scrolled back into my Pages app on my iPad and saw this title with no words written yet. And thought…yeah. That’s some nugget there. To know grief, is to know love. And especially during holiday times, one of many triggers, I’m feeling the love I shared with Mike…and missing his place here with me.
If I hadn’t loved Mike so hard, I wouldn’t have known the grief of his loss. I had love like that, and nearly five years later I do feel grateful. It took a long time to get here. The first couple years were too clouded with the shock, fear and anxiety of having to move forward without him. But surprisingly, I have found footing. I have found support, love, friends, and purpose.
It’s not the same purpose as being married to Mike. It’s not the same purpose as being his wife, and sharing life with him. But it’s still purpose. It feels like having a little marching soldier carrying on inside me, and that is partly due to my own relatively strong constitution, and partly due to the legacy of positivity and love Mike left behind.
Some days though, I just feel old. I’ll be 50 in March. I was just short of 45 when he died. These five years have taken their toll. I’ve found age is relative. Did you have 50 years with your spouse? Are you still spry at 75? Did you lose them in middle age as I did, or younger? But I’m still here. I’m still in hope of being some good in this world…some good aside from being Mike’s wife. I am working so hard. Not just at my job and my hopeful new career but on myself. On what it means to find positivity and joy in life, regardless of the hardships.
I knew great love. I sure did. And I lost the body it was attached to, in the physical sense. He won’t be here to share my daily existence again on this plane. So I feel grief. The deep, penetrating ache of a longing that will never cease.
Don’t get me wrong. Our life, my life with Mike, was not perfect. My life now is not perfect. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a perfect life, with or without grief. And yet, I do soldier on.
I hate my grief. But it does remind me I had great love. Not everyone gets that.