I am often stuck in a deep sadness and anxiety. I can blame it on the busyness of life or business because that’s more socially acceptable at this stage of grief. But all too often the sadness still revolves around the fact that sharing this life with Grant isn’t possible. It revolves around school starting again, the cool air coming back which reminds us all that the snow is just around the corner, and another year has passed. The hustle and bustle of people have forgotten about the sad past because of facebook photos that look so happy and “moved on.” It revolves around the birth of a new niece coming up that I vow will still know the existence of her beautiful uncle who would have been so proud to hold in his arms. He was the guy who I m sure bragged about how amazing these little ones are to his friends. I’ve met plenty of people over the last few years who knew my brother who knew almost every intimate detail of my kid’s lives, again who I barely knew prior to losing him. They know these details because he talked so much about how proud he was of me and my sisters and our cutie-pies.
Fall is in the air: I used to love this season. I used to breathe in the fall air with a welcoming thought as I knew my busy season was soon coming to a short break and I could once again breathe slowly and enjoy the sluggish speed of winter. These past couple years it has just been a constant reminder that another year has passed and yet I feel no different than I did nearly three years ago.
I think when you’ve lost someone so significant in your life you really do want to see “life” in this life again. You do not want it to pass you by and feel so deeply sad. You want to enjoy the good things in life and hope that your children, husband and friends still see you as a loving, positive (not sad or depressed) person. You know that you will never be the same person again but you hope that the new person you have become is still one that is worth loving. You try. You hope. You try again. You talk to a doctor. You google “grief” and wish that the stages were as simple as they seem summed up in a short article. You wish that the promise that your loved one was spared spending the rest of this life glued to an addiction, spared of a life of pain, deep hurt and sadness, spared of a life he hated, spared of a life that satan’s power had put his grips on was good enough to move on. You wish that the knowledge of this life being just a blink of an eye, the promise of heaven and seeing him again after this life was easy to be content with.
You google grief and wish that acceptance was the end. You wish and hope that acceptance meant you had also accepted that this life is just a blink of an eye and that joy should still consume this world while you wait for your day to come and be greeted by him at heaven’s gate. But each day you are reminded that it is a selfish life. Maybe I am selfish that I wish back those days. Maybe I am selfish that I wish back the days of watching 90210 reruns on my couch as my new baby snuggled in my arms and while he pretended to watch the show he was really staring at those cute little new baby toes.
- Shock and Denial
- Pain and Guilt
- Anger and Bargaining
- Depression, reflection and loneliness
- The upward turn
- Reconstruction and working through
- Acceptance and hope
This is the list I found this morning. And personally with each of these google searches I get a little more saddened that it always seems like acceptance and hope are the end result and that once you’ve gone through this list we are expected to be back to our old selves. It seems as this should be a 7 month checklist that each month poses its next challenge. Honestly, somewhere in this 33 months I have come to the acceptance part of this theory but I promise you that it does not mean I am back to my old self. It does not mean that I don’t wake up wanting to scream out loud or wish for an extra hour of sleep with hopes that a dream will be centered around his voice or his hugs. It doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a vacation or post happy looking photos on facebook. It also doesn’t mean I don’t still seek the google button for some self help guide. I still just wish it all back every minute of every day. While so many others have moved on a piece of my heart has been forever changed and the only way I can describe it is that unless you’ve been through it you don’t get it and I really wish this upon no one. It also means that we are more aware of what this is like and continually fear losing again. The pain and anxiety of the unknown future truly constantly haunts us.
I guess what I am trying to say is that for those out there who have also lost a loved one or love one who has been forever changed due to loss is that you are not alone. So, when you are stuck in these grief stages and wonder if people think that you should have moved on by now remember it doesn’t take time…. It takes a lifetime. We have been forever changed. And as I remind myself each day it also doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to enjoy what’s left of this life. Enjoy the little miracles each day presents to us. Laugh daily because you know they would want you to. Until we meet them again. XOXO
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9