I have been judged, criticized, supported and encouraged. I have heard that I am not posting enough of the realness on Facebook. And I have heard that I am posting too much. I have been told that my posts there are helping others deal with their own grief and loss. And I have been told that my posts there are too dark and too personal.
I have heard that this is my life, my journey. That I need to follow my heart, and just live this life however I can. But I have also heard that I should listen to those around me - follow their guidance and direction, because they know better than me.
Some of the differences in me others like. Some they don't.
Rick told me a month before he died that he wanted me to live and love and laugh again. "Find someone that makes you happy." "You are too young, too beautiful, to be alone." "Do not sit down in grief and waste your life."
He had NO idea how hard it all would be.
Every single morning since he died, I wake up and tell myself - OK, this is real. Just breathe. Go from this moment. - for 18 long months I have done that. And I will continue to do it. There are the days that it takes every ounce of my strength and courage to get up and say these words. Thankfully, the really bad days are getting fewer and farther between now.
I don't know what this walk of grief is like for those who have jobs and homes, who have families and friends that stand with them or sit with them in the dark. I know what it is like for me.
No job. I was Rick's caregiver for so many years. And before that, we had made the decision together that I would be the homemaker, working at being wife and momma, my goal was to make the living worthwhile. The demand for a 55 year old woman who has been out of the workforce for most of her life is not real high.
No home. I have places that I can stay. My kids. Other members of the family. Even a few friends have opened their homes to me. But a "home"? No.
--I am told by others that I need to look at getting my "own home". Be it a house or an apartment, or whatever, and wherever. That maybe what life gives me. But I can say this with all certainty of knowing my heart and mind - there is no joy, no excitement, in it for me. I do not do alone well. Even Rick knew that. Oh for a few hours at a time, I am ok. But for living alone? Cannot imagine there being happiness in that for me. I know others who yearn for it ... others who live it daily and do very well at it. I am truly happy for those who can and who do. But me? It is not my heart, not my nature. If that is what happens, I will do all I can to handle it with grace and dignity. But joy? no. Excitement? no.
I find myself wondering a lot these days. Wondering what I should do. Wondering what is best for those in my life. Does it matter what is best for me?
Should I just find a hole somewhere, big enough for just me and my very few little things? Go off alone and just be quiet, be still. Let everyone live their lives.
What is there for me now? All that I have ever known is gone.
I am so empty. so very lost.
I had a hope that someone would swoop in and rescue me from this nightmare. That I would wake up and it really would be just a nightmare. But it hasn't happened ... it's not going to happen.
I have to figure out the way to survive it ... alone.
Rick - I wish you had not died.