I've made a new resolve. I refuse to call it a resolution because those are soon laid aside. I'm putting positivity at the forefront of my life. Refusing to let people steal my joy. Retraining myself to respond differently to negativity if you will. You can too. Try it. Put the pen down. Don't give in to the urge to say it all again in a post or a blog or in conversation. It drags you right back into a dark place. Life is precious and it is short.
This was a message to me yesterday, from a trusted friend. While I can appreciate the thoughts, and even concur to some degree with what is said here, I must admit that it was the poor timing of the message that sent me spiraling on Christmas Eve into a pit of muck and mire - for the day, the evening, the night ... and has lingered still this morning.
I think one GREAT mistake that we (widows & widowers) make is to assume that because someone else is walking this same path, they really "get" where we are, and that we can lean on them in a moment of weakness & extreme loneliness. Sadly, that is not true. A lesson that I am being taught over and over and over again this past year. Hopefully, this latest lesson has made me cross that line into accepting and passing - so that I might move forward ... to another lesson.
Since returning to Texas I have been told multiple times "You just are not the same as before Rick died. It is so unfair that "she" has gone away, or basically died, so we have had to lose both you & Rick. You need to grow up, get over it all, and be that same Margaret that you were then."
Time after time I have had to sit quietly, listen to the words spoken in anger & frustration, maintain my composure, and say quietly & softly - "You are right. That me is gone. She will never return. Because the me that I was with Rick? I was that me because of Rick, with Rick, supported and loved by Rick. Rick was more than just my husband. He was a part of me. The best part of me. He's gone ... and so is that Margaret."
Then invariably I have excused myself, found a bathroom, and let the tears flow. Let the sobs wrack my body, and the migraine begin all over again. Wash my face. Dry my eyes. Take a deep breath. Re-enter and pretend that nothing has happened, no words have cut my heart asunder yet again. Waiting until I could find the time to write my thoughts out.
I made the grave mistake yesterday morning, after being told this again, of reaching out as one drowning in raging waters, to a trusted friend, one who is on this journey of grief as well.
A word of understanding and comfort with : "Chalk it up to "they know not what they say", because they don't. To which I replied, "Thank you for caring and for reminding me."
Then, I receive the above message.
Writing is therapy to me. It has been such for as long as I can remember. I wrote when I was but a child. I have thought long thru my life that writing the words was much better than saying the words, or allowing the emotions to manifest themselves in an attitude or action. Which is why the underlined parts of the above message were like daggers to the heart, the mind, the very soul, when I read them yesterday.
I have been sternly spoken to about my writings these last 3 years, by this same one, time after time. (To which I have responded by writing another blog post!)
What is so ironic to me about the words spoken by this one against my writings? Anytime, no EVERY time I write a post on social media, or share a darker meme (a life or grief meme), I get messages, texts & comments telling me how much my words, my sharing, has blessed them - even helped them to face putting their own grief and struggles into words. I have even pointed this out, only to be told - "Do whatever you want, you will anyway! But I don't like what you are writing & posting! If you insist on continuing, then I will simply unfollow you and refuse to read anything else that you write."
Why has this bothered me?
I searched my heart deep into the night, and again in the wee hours of the morning.
My answer? My heart answer?
Because I have respected this one, honored this one, trusted this one. With my heart, my very life.
And these words are slowly and surely cutting the friendship asunder.
Never once have I asked anyone to read my social media posts, and the only ones I have asked to read these blog posts are the ones who have requested that I let them know with each new blog.
However, one that professes to love me as a friend, who tells me of undying support and encouragement, who has asked me to make them my "go-to" one for the gut punch moments of grief - - If it were me making these declarations of love, devotion & friendship? I would read anything and everything written by them in the hope of understanding their own path of grief, love, loss & life.
And then it dawned on me about 1:48 a.m. on Christmas 2019 morning ... this one is not ME.
As well as, I don't need the negativity in my life. Nor do I need the strangling hold on my emotions.
Emotions come and emotions go - good, bad and indifferent.
Emotions change - - because LIFE CHANGES.
I learned a long time ago not to depend on my emotions. But to allow them for the sake of healing and learning and strength - for myself, and for lessons of life that others can learn from as well.
I spent quite some time going back thru my social media posts yesterday, wondering just what negativity and/or darkness has offended this one, or could have offended anyone?
95% or more of my posts these last few months have been the feel-good or funny or tender hearted sharings. A few news stories scattered through. Puns galore. Pretty pictures, interesting facts. And yes, a few that are the cold & hard truths of this life as a widow.
Now, to be honest? No one - NO ONE - knows all that I struggle with, that I have had laid upon my back & my heart these last 10 years. NO ONE. If you have read my postings on social media or have read my blogs - then you have an INKLING ONLY of the enormity of this grief & daily life that I have been handed.
I think that is the most frustrating part of all this, of reading the message received yesterday. Just knowing HOW MUCH I HAVE NOT SHARED. Knowing what a battle it is with every smile, every laugh, every pun, every pretty picture, every positive post - - to keep the darkness & negativity of this life out of it all. Knowing that even with those trusted few that I have shared so much, and so deeply with, that even then only the surface has been touched. The depth has not been disturbed in any way to be shared. Those burdens are still carried by me ... ALONE.
So saying all this ... to say this - -
My final resolve is:
*To continue on this quest to find and/or create Margaret. This "new" Margaret, who was Rick's wife for almost 35 years, who has now been his widow for 4 years 8 months, and who has yet to find a manual on how to do all this ... alone.
*To continue with my writings. As therapy for my own heart & life. As a way that others can relate to, or use my words to explain where they are at on their own journey.
*To no longer give time or attention to words from others about me NOT writing or NOT sharing. I struggle over every word I write, over every post I share. Nothing is done spur of the moment - not when it comes to my writings.
*To no longer share on a personal level unless specifically asked ... and I have absolute confidence and trust in that person. No longer will I blindly share - Rick warned me about "casting my pearls before the swine". So I will heed HIS words and guard my heart even closer.
*To continue to add to this Resolution List as time goes on. It's mine! As is this life.
To the naysayers in my life:
If you don't like something I write or share?
SCROLL THE HELL ON BY!
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here