TODAY, this morning, I woke up and the first thought that ran through my head was: “Oh, hurray, I am still here!” I feel hopeful and good and positive.
Three years ago, I was waking up thinking the opposite. I was thinking thoughts like: “Oh, shit, I’m still here.” I was so sad that I just wanted life to be over, to join my darling husbands.
This is really big for me. I have spent the last decade in grief, full tilt boogie grief it seems. I use the metaphor that having a spouse die is like falling down a deep dark well. As you claw your way up, you start to see the light and the light begins to grow in size the longer you cling to the sides and make your way upward. Well, I had just approached the top of the well I had fallen into after T’s death when Dave died and I fell all the way to the bottom again. I didn’t even try getting out for a while. I just laid down there and wallowed. So, for me to feel that it is good, even great, to wake up in this world, is big! It’s a milestone. It makes me smile.
Now, if you have been reading my blog, you will have read that I try to make myself feel better by adding a new man to my life - to fill the emptiness. Well, my happiness today has nothing to do with any man. I am on my own, I live alone, I make plans alone and I am finally okay with being alone. Hallelujah. I have worked hard to be okay with flying solo and being a widow without a partner.
So what have I learned about grief? That time and self-care, self-love will help you through. That you can get to a place where being alone is okay. That you will survive despite your wish not to. That life can once again be a source of joy and excitement.
Does this mean that I have forgotten my husbands? No. Definitely not. I think of them everyday. I miss them all the time. I honour their memories and their important dates. I keep in contact with their parents. I have them forever more. I am blessed to have had them in my life. And I know that I will have moments of grief, even paralyzing grief, in the future. Maybe even today. It never goes away. But it doesn’t hurt as much as it used to.