I seem to go in cycles of talking and quiet. There are times that I can't seem to listen enough - love the sound of other's voices, and to hear their perspectives on life, to know the passion of laughter in them ... or to talk enough, when the spoken words, and the written words come so easy and so full - not just about grief and loss, but about life and laughter.
And then, there are those times, like now, that I can't seem to find the words to say or to write - nothing seems to say it all, I can't find the words that say what really is in my heart and mind.
I am tired of explaining and defending the quiet times to those around me. It's just the way this is working for me.
I am not crying more than "normal", if anything I am crying less during the quiet times.
I am not angry with anyone, just a quiet time.
The quiet times are times of great introspection ... looking deep into the past that I had with Rick, looking into me now - who am I, what do I want, what do I like, and looking for that hope and future that I am told is there.
This is all so new and different for me ... Finding ME ... learning Margaret.
**Had a couple of weeks with my sweet daughter and grandkids. :) ... We laughed and we teased ... we had some good conversations.
She took Momma out for karaoke a couple of times - I adore her voice! She sang to Momma :) ... love that girl!!!
**Met my cousin and his precious wife for lunch one day. It was good food - but what was the best was the time with him. He has been my best friend for so long. Nothing is off limits to talk about with him. And we did talk that day. Spent 4 hours sitting at the table, just talking. I needed his perspective, I needed his listening ear. And I certainly needed his hugs. I treasure his words of encouragement and strength - that he thinks I am doing very well, for all that I have been thru. --I am trying. I know that I have made some mistakes, but I hope that those mistakes will be the points of learning for me.
**Met a friend from high school for lunch another day. It was sweet to sit there and talk with her. The food was good that day, too - :) ... the best part of the restaurant that day was the waiter - he was cool. Just a friendly waiter, attentive, and caring. Not hovering, not impatient. I really appreciate those that are like that.
Not everyone understands the level of grief that I am dealing with. I truly wish that no one did. Ever.
Everyone has a level of grief in their life - we have all lost something, or someone.
I have lost so many people in my life - daddy, momma, sister, brother, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends ... and the list goes on. At last count, and I stopped counting years ago - in the space of about 20 years I have had to say that final good bye to 150 people.
But, I maintain this one truth - not one has been on the level that losing my husband has been.
Losing Rick has meant that I have lost my heart, my mind, my direction and my purpose, the dreams and plans for the rest of my life - with Rick. Rick and I were so entwined in our life, in our hearts, in our very souls. When he died, so did all that I was then. Wife, best friend, lover, caregiver, nurse, business partner, help-meet.
And now? I have to let go of those that do not want to walk with me on this journey of learning me - and I do let go, with no offense, no bitterness. I come with a ton of baggage. Just the grief walk is more than enough! But that is just a part of my baggage in this life. And I really do realize that others have their own lives, their own grief struggles, and all that makes up their world.
.... as well as letting go of all that I was with Rick.
I am learning.
Learning that I can get up and get dressed, with no one to wake me, with no one to tell me that I look cute, or sexy, or "fine".
Learning that I can get in my car and go somewhere without telling someone where I am going, or when I will be back.
Learning that I can spend a few dollars here and there without answering to someone as to what I bought, or why.
Learning that I can eat when I want, what I want. Or not eat at all.
Learning that I can go to sleep - eventually - alone, with or without the tears.
Am I making mistakes? Yes. I'm sure I am making huge mistakes, especially if you listen to those watching me live this life. I hope that the mistakes I make will just be points of learning ... not dreadful, haunting for years, type of mistakes.
I have said for these 10 months that although I am not the only one grieving for Rick, and not the only one grieving ... this that I am living is my grief, my journey, my life. And if I screw it up - then it is on me. I am not asking any one to answer for the mistakes that I do make.
Some days (like today) I wish that I could just go away somewhere - alone. Really alone. Just "Drift Away". Not forever, but long enough to deal with all this ... long enough to live this part of the grief ... long enough to get some things figured out ...
But the world does not stop for my broken heart ... and I cannot escape the day to day living of this grief.
Hopefully those that are offended or hurt by me will know one day that there is no intended hurt or offense.
I am breathing in and breathing out ... One moment at a time ... Sometimes in the noise of life and laughter ... and sometimes in the quiet.
I hope you never truly understand.
Hmmmm...trying to figure out just the right words to put here. You cannot hear the tone of my voice as I write. You cannot see into my eyes as you read these words. I don't want to sound "holier-than-thou" - cause I am not! I don't want to sound bitter, or angry, or depressed. I am not!
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.
And just to make one thing clear - I don't want you to understand what I am going thru. I wish NO ONE on earth understood!!! This is a grief walk unlike any other. And the only true way to understand it is to walk it yourself. That is why I don't want you to GET me. I don't want ANY one to ever get me.
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.
This picture that I share here says so much. And it is the way I am choosing to live this walk of grief. I do still cry, grieve, mourn.
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 know that sometimes I am taken as a hard hearted bitch of a woman, but truly, I am not.
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.
Where do I go from here? As my wings begin to unfold and dry? I truly do not know.
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.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here