I am a little irritable - a little frustrated - a little discouraged ... and impatient.
I am hearing from so many well-meaning and caring people about living this walk of grief. People who tho they have lost dreams and hopes, they have lost loved ones even, they have never lost a spouse. I, too, have lost many dreams and hope. I, also, have lost many loved ones - all ages, for all causes.
BUT - and I say this just as kind as I can ... there is something so totally different about losing your spouse.
Yes, I am thankful for the years that I loved Rick, and that he loved me. I am so thankful that we were each other's best friends, soul-mates, heart throbs. Yes, I am thankful for the time we had together. Yes, I realize that we had something that many people never get a taste of.
But, and again, I search for the words that will sound the best here -- I love my husband with all my heart, still. I miss him like crazy. When Rick died, he took the "me" that I was. I was his wife, his sweetheart, his lover, his best friend. I was his cook, his cleaner, his nurse, his everything. I was HIS. He took that part of me with him. He left me here - alone, empty, lost.
I really don't care what you think of our life together - whether I was right or wrong to give myself so completely to him. He gave himself to me just as completely.
There are those who now tell me that it is high time I move on with my life - go out and find a life, make a life. Then, there are those who tell me that I have not healed enough. That I need to gather my grief about me like a shawl, sit down and just mourn a while. And those that tell me I need to put all the grief aside, walk away from it. Some say I cry too much. Some say I laugh too loud, or giggle too often. Some say that I share the grief too real. Some say that I sound like a woman in love.
I want to say -- This is MY grief, MY journey, MY life. I will live it MY way, in MY time, MY choices. If I screw up an hour, or a day, or if I screw up the rest of my life -- that is on ME. If you want to walk with me along this way - I love you all the more for being there for me, supporting me, cheering me on ... without judging me, without criticizing me.
At this point in my grief walk - I will listen, first, to the advice and counsel of those who have been here before me, those who are walking it now, and those who are so newly on this journey. They are the ones who truly GET this walk, all the ups and downs, all the times of feeling victory over the smallest things, and all those moments when defeat is screaming at us because of a tear, or because of the anguish within our very souls.
I believe that I can learn something from everyone - whether you have lost a spouse or not. Like I said - everyone has lost something. We are all in some stage of grief - always. Because we live in a fallen world, where death is a very real part of life.
To those who are on this journey, too - I am so sorry. My heart hurts deeply for you. Thank you for sharing your stories with me, for baring your heart and soul to me. Thank you for teaching me the lessons you have learned, and are learning along this way. Thank you for crying along with me ... and for the times you make me smile, or giggle, or just plain laugh out loud. I love each one of you so much. My hugs, my thoughts, my prayers - to you, for you. I love you.
I believe that Rick is in a place of rest - he no longer suffers the pain and agony of a body that failed, that betrayed our trust and stole our life. He is at peace. I cry for all the broken hopes and dreams. I cry for all the times lost with my sweetheart.
But I also know that no matter what I do, or what I do not do - Rick is not coming back to me.
Nothing will ever give me him back, nothing will ever restore the life I have lost with him.
All I can do is to breathe in and breathe out.
One foot in front of the other, and face forward.
One moment at a time going into the day.
So, I will.
I find myself with more patience and tolerance than ever before in my life ... and at the same time with less than I ever believed was possible. Yes, a contradiction. But then, my whole life seems to be a contradiction now.
Running late for work ... homework not finished ... dishes piled up in the sink ... beds not made ... laundry not caught up ... less money in the bank that you thought ... flat tire ... all these little things of life are just that ... LITTLE things. Things that truly will not matter when the day is done, when tomorrow comes, or if tomorrow never comes again.
A little longer kiss to your spouse in the mornings ... an extra hug or two with the kids ... a card game after supper ... playing catch at bedtime ... snuggling on the couch for a longer movie ... time for a kind word to someone ... these are the BIG things that will matter when the day is done, or if tomorrow never comes.
But as surely as I know that doing nothing will not bring Rick back - I know that I must fly.
If I bust my butt a time or two, that's ok. There is enough padding to protect me. *Smile*
I just really do not want to hurt anyone else in any way. I love my family and my friends.
I know this is my life ...
but just as I told Rick so long ago -- this is my life, but I do not live on an island.
Everything I do, everything I say - affects someone, somewhere.
God, help me to make the right choices and decisions. I want to please my God ... honor my husband ... and live this life. God, help me.