Tag Archives: Grieving

“Sorry”, not Sorry …

fingerprints1Death would be the ultimate “identity theft” – in my life.

Grieving would take me on a journey of reclaiming my identity. An identity that would no longer include – my husband. My relational base. Scary, confusing – frustrating. I would grieve the loss of a shared identity – of over 30 years. There would be no one at home – waiting for me. No one to sit beside me – no one to hold my hand – no where to find the unconditional love and support I had known for more then half of my life.

My name was still the same. The person looking back at me, in the mirror, still looked the same, but who I was – had been irreversibly changed forever, in a single moment.

It propelled me into an emotional vertigo. I remained suspended for quite a long time. I existed somewhere between vertigo and apathy.

It was a constant struggle to find a place where I felt I belonged, fit in …

You see, the life we knew – before death occurs, continues on – people return to “their” normal. However, your normal has ceased to exist. All of the what you knew to be safe, secure and loving has simply vanished. In retrospect, I know now that returning to the same practices only further magnified my loss. There were many who could not or chose not to understand how profoundly I was missing my Dave – grieving his loss of life in mine. My absence was met with nothing but harsh opposition. The exchanges, were down right cruel – and I found that the dismissal of my feelings, my brokenness only further deepened my sense of loss and despair.

Taking responsibility for my own pain – my own loss, the death of my husband, was the first step in my journey of recovery both in my sobriety and my process of grieving.

I quit apologizing for loving my husband and grieving his death.

I quit apologizing for not having the capacity to function.

I quit apologizing for crying – randomly.

I quit apologizing for not being to be emotional available – for family and friends.

I quit apologizing for feeling such a deep sense of sadness.

I quit apologizing for my broken heart.

There was such a release in my moment of clarity. I found the freedom to move through all of the broken places. It no longer mattered how my behavior was perceived. I spent the time collecting, gathering my broken pieces – found the courage to carry them to a place of healing. It was like putting a puzzle together …

Grieving, although a universal territory is but a very unique journey.

I learned that embracing those really bad days, allowed my heart the opportunity to heal.

I discovered the importance of surrounding myself with people who “just got it.”

Eventually, I emerged from my long slumber – the fog of denial, with a heart of gratitude and peace.

Knowing how lucky I was, to have been loved so deeply by a man who gave of himself so freely.

Gratitude, that I have lived through the unimaginable, and along the way – I have stumbled onto a strength that I might not have known otherwise. Gratitude, for loss has taught me, the value and purpose of life.

It would be a year ago that I would take my last drink.

There is something so powerful that begins to take place, as I began to confront my pain, loss and despair. And the healing that seemed to be elusive, began to find its way, when I could be still long enough to let it catch me. Moving through it and not around it has not made everything perfectly fine. It has only allowed me to live a life, wholeheartedly.

a Celebrated Life

“Forever did not mean what it once had. Forever was what changed inevitably over time.” – Amy Tan

The art of living begins with the act of letting go. As grief would have it – it turned my world upside down and inside out. From my belief system to the simple routines of life. You can forget emotional stability, it no longer exists. Even your environment has taken new shape. Comfort and familiarity have vanished – everything has been changed forever, as you knew it.

Grief is a difficult journey, and you find yourself and your world completely out of balance.

Sometimes, we can go to far to normalize grief, and it’s experiences. While we’ll never forget, and we’ll always grieve the loss of your loved one. Grief is a process of movement, a progression in healing. Learning to re-create a sense of balance is essential to our emotional, spiritual and physical health.

… I didn’t always see grieving as a way to healing.

It’s difficult to hear, let alone believe that one day your heart will know joy again, when you are in the middle of the worst of it. Admittedly, I was the one who was perfectly content to hang out in my grief – forever!

Grieving is a unique journey situated in a very universal context. And there is no timetable, and certainly no right or wrong way to grieve. Be kind to yourself, let your own heart guide you – don’t allow anyone to rush you or hurry you along with their expectations. Let your own heart be what guides you …

My children and I gathered on Sunday, what would have been a time to celebrate a Birthday and a Dad’s Day. We really haven’t assembled – formally, since David’s death, 3 years ago. And while we didn’t celebrate Father’s Day – per say, it was a time to celebrate the gift of healing. I celebrated my children, honored to be a part of this journey with each of them. Incredibly blessed by their resiliency of both heart and the human spirit.

My husband, a remarkable man, believed every day held the possibility of unlimited opportunity, he lived each day in its fullness and with purpose. His children have honored his legacy, become his living legacy of hope and new life.