I woke up this morning just wanting to write. No real idea of what to write about. No theme that sparked my interest. Just a need to put my fingers on the keyboard and see what pours out of my heart. Writing lets me know what I'm feeling when I'm not exactly sure because life is busy and can cloud over what's going on in our hearts.
Today is September 5th. In five days I will have been a widow for two years. I will have had grief in apart of my heart for two years.
In five days I will start my third year of this journey.
Two years ago my heart was shattered. My entire world was burned to the ground. The future I had imagined was blown away on the wind. I became a widow, a solo parent, a griever.......all in one day. The change of month into September brings back so many emotions into my heart space. Yes, I am healing. Yes, I am thriving. Yes, I am being brave and putting myself out there and living again. But also yes, it still hurts from time to time. It's hard to describe. I have accepted what happened and let go of my late husband. I have set him free. I have broke open my own heart to get to my healing. But I still hurt when this month comes around and I remember that girl that I was before this tragedy happened. I still hurt when I remember all the shit and pain she had to go through in those first minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years after her husband died by suicide. I still remember her having to pick out his funeral clothes. I still remember her bringing those clothes to the funeral home in a plastic Walmart bag. The hunting sweater he thought was too expensive to buy for himself so she saved up her waitressing money to buy it for him. The jeans she had just bought him at the thrift store that were never easy to find.......34x34. And a big thick pair of wool socks because she hated to think of his feet being cold for eternity. No shoes. She knew he wouldn't need any where he was going. I still hurt for that girl. I still cry because I know that she felt so alone. That she never really told anyone in person how her heart was on fire. I know that she felt so damn scared and locked all the doors and windows at night and slept with the light on. I know that she healed her heart in her basement crying in the middle of the night. I know that she tried bargaining with the universe to bring the man home no matter what had to happen for that to occur.
Two years of picking myself up and finding my way.......all on my own.
Two years of trying to figure out how to talk to the dead.
Two years of focusing solely on my children and myself.
So many months of punishing myself and not allowing myself to feel happiness or laughter or even love.
So many things have gotten me to where I am today. My stubborn personality. My brave and "put it all out there" writing. My children, friends, family, nature, yoga, QNRT therapy, books, and my own inner spirituality, But mostly what's gotten me where I am today? Me. Me breaking open my heart and realizing that we can't fully heal with our minds only. To fully heal and resolve emotional pain we have to go straight through our hearts. Allow the pain. Don't fight it. Close the curtains. Sit on the floor. Crank the loud heartbreak music and cry. Let it out. The only way out is through.
I thought I knew grief. I didn't know this grief. Grief can't be fixed or cured and it might not ever fully go away. That's not how it works. It takes up a place in your heart and eventually the pain is healed by the memories. Eventually the pain is healed by knowing that you never fully lose your connection to the dead. They aren't here. They aren't here but yet......they still are.....still guiding us...still loving us....still in our hearts. And to let go doesn't erase any of that. To let go only means to accept. Accept what happened. Accept the change in plans. Accept the pain. Accept it and the healing will begin. Let your mind fight it and try to figure out how it could have been different and you will suffer more.
Year 3. I have to say I can't believe I will be starting year 3 as in so many ways it feels like only yesterday........and in so many ways it feels like 10 years ago.
What are my wishes and hopes and plans for year 3? Well, year one was pure survival. It was just getting through the pain and the anger and the shit storm and not allowing myself to turn out the lights on my own life all those nights that the pain was too much in the middle of the night. Year 2 was my rising. Year 2 is when I started learning. I started to turn around even with tears in my eyes and reach out my hand to anyone else who was suffering in their lives and needed a hand to hold. Year 3? I'm not making any plans. I'm going to trust life fully. I'm going to go with my gut. I'm going to follow my heart. I'm going to let myself be alive and laugh and do things that scare me. I'm going to let people know that your heart, my heart, all hearts......are made to love and can break and shatter and expand and love a spirit that no longer resides on this earth all while loving others. I'm not scared of much anymore. I'm not scared of death, or grief, or love, or anything. I understand it all so much more now. Humans are made for healing. We can live side by side with joy and pain. It's what makes us human. Poets, writers, musicians..........all created from feeling heartbreak. I have written in journals all of my life and it took my tragedy to make me brave enough to share my imperfect words with the world.
Year 3. I have decided that I cannot change what happened but I can choose to accept it and allow myself happiness. It happened. It sucks. But I'm still here and I'm still alive and I have a great purpose and hopefully I have another 40 or 50 years to live so I'm going to make them great. I'm going to be that old woman with long grey wild hair telling stories around a campfire. Stories of love. Stories of heartbreak. Stories of life.
Watch me LIVE.