Grief is a long, twisty, bizarre journey . I’ve been feeling good overall, feeling as if my heart has healed a lot and I’m ready to move forward with life in ways I hadn’t been previously. I’ve felt ready for something. But I’ve not really known what that something might be. I’ve tried this and that, wondered this and that, moved forward on this and that. But there is no this or that catching my attention past the point of taking the first steps forward on a path. I am living in the hope that something, anything will just grab me and scream to me “Yes, this can feed your soul enough to carry you through the rough days.” I keep moving forward, one tiny step at a time.
I’m realizing today that this second year of grieving the death of Russell is even more treacherous to journey than the first. The path is so much more foggy. Life has taken over and I spend most of my days dealing with work, helping my children figure out their journeys, and spending time with family and friends. I don’t as much as I want to. I am caught up in living a life. I am trying to just live. I go for weeks feeling stable, whole, and able to handle life. And then something triggers me and I find myself in the midst of one of those darker places again.
I think of Russell. I miss him everyday. The kids and I talk about him more now than we could a year ago. We dream of adventures. I pay my bills. I line up doctor’s appointments. I try to eat healthy. I cook more. I laugh some everyday. I talk to Russell in my head of how proud of our children I am.
I am also finding that my heart is hurting so much the past few weeks. And little things can pop up that leave me feeling as if I’m unraveling all over again. I know that I am strong but I am feeling weaker as time goes along rather than stronger. And than I realize that this second year, this year of rebuilding and integrating the shock of last year, has so many lessons to learn.
I’m learning to tap out again, just like I did much of last year. There are just some days, some moments that I just need to be away from the world. In those moments I collapse into myself, sob a lot, and hide under the covers for at least a few hours.
I’m learning to not feel guilty about continuing to place great emphasis upon my self-care and encouraging my kids to do the same. There is a part of me that believes I need to suck it all up and just get the job done, no matter what my emotional state might be. I do work hard most days on many, many things. But other days I give into the need to focus primarily on self-care.
I’m learning to find the one or two things that I can do each day that always make me smile. Usually these involve my children or my pups.
I’m learning that the unraveling I experience is needed so that I can start to weave a new life web. I’m strengthening the strands of my web, spinning new ones, and dreaming.
I’m learning that I need to write everyday, and not just in my journal. Blogging feeds my soul in ways I can’t quite understand. There is something about writing and sharing my journey – the good, the bad, the challenging, the easy – that heals me and gives me purpose. Even if the writing is short I think I need to start blogging everyday, no matter what. Considering I have the topics for at least 15-20 blog posts already written down it should be fairly easy to do.
I’m learning that not knowing what I want to change in my life is okay. I’ve got to settle into this unknowing place as a good, normal place for me right now.
I’m learning that part of what makes me strong is being able to say I’m not strong all of the time.
I’m learning that grieving impacts us on such a deep and broad level that it can take a very long time to rebuild our lives and learn to still be able to move even when those little things try to pull the rug out from under us again.
I’m learning that just when I think I’ve got this grieving thing under my belt, it is really that a new layer of learning is being reached. Just because I have bad days or rough weeks it doesn’t mean that I’m not healing or that I’m not strong.
I just need to be sharing my story, not worrying if others get it or if they are even listening or how rambling my writing seems to be to me. My path doesn’t have to be a linear one, it just has to be my path. I don’t know why it feels so important to share my story. Maybe because it’s one of the few things that seems to come easily to me. There is so much in my life that seems hard to do or figure out still. Writing, sharing my life journey, loving my children, listening to other people’s stories, these are the things that seem real to me. These things feed my soul.