I discovered something this week that I think is very profound. It was another difficult few days and I know that is to be expected. Thing is, I don’t want to feel this way again…and I do. The physical and emotional pain of grief is all encompassing and affects you in every aspect of your life.
So what was my discovery…I know this can get better and I want to fast forward through the hard part. Now I know that’s impossible, but that’s a fact. I don’t want to be sad, but I am. I don’t want my chest to hurt when I think of Rick, but it does. I don’t want to go to bed crying and wake up crying every morning, but I do. I don’t want to live my life without Rick, but I have to. There is no choice, but to wait this out and hope that someday I won’t feel like this. So I need to continue the journey, do the work and wait it out.
My life has been turned upside down in a way I could not have imagined. I tried to think yesterday what we used to do on our time off. I got so frustrated because I couldn’t put my finger on anything exact, we were just always together. Even if we weren’t interacting we were together. I am alone now most of the time. Funny thing is even if I am with others, I am still alone.
The challenge is to figure out who you are and where you fit. I remember after Lindsey died, I felt lost and disconnected from everyone whose life remained the same. When I went to my first Compassionate Friends meeting, I walked into a room of the saddest people on the planet and felt like I belonged there. A friend asked me why when I was so sad, would I want to be around all those sad people. I told her that it was the only group of people that know how I feel. I found solace there that I could not find anywhere else, although I had a huge support system. Fact is, during all of that, my main support was Rick, right there side by side.
I sent a text this week to a friend and said “you know life sucks when you are looking forward to a grief conference”. This is a place I’m like everyone else. Isn’t that a weird place to be? I don’t want to be a grieving spouse, just like I didn’t want to be a grieving mother, but these are the cards I’ve been dealt. I’ve got to figure out how to play them. No one can do that for me, I have to do it for myself.
It’s sort of like standing on the edge of a cliff looking down, seeing the expanse of the canyon. I have to choose how to get to the other side. There are two ropes, one is sturdy and has lots of safety features, but takes a lot longer to cross. It comes with a lot of directions. The other rope is a little frayed, maybe a tad dangerous, but if it holds will get me there quickly. The first rope allows me to take all the steps, buckling and snapping, taking every precaution to get it right, checking and rechecking, assuring arrival to the other side intact. The frayed rope has no directions, no steps, no safety, no time to assure a safe arrival, but promises to be quick. If I make it, I’m on my own from there. Which rope do I choose or do I want to cross at all? Should I just remain here where it’s safe?
As I look across the canyon, I see a light, it is bright and filled with lots of color and promise. It is beautiful and looks like a place I’d like to be. Which rope do I choose, safe and cautious or frayed and dangerous? If you get there quicker, do you feel better and are you in a place you feel ready to take on life. Or…are you just there and don’t know what to do now?
I’ve decided to take the safe route, walk the maze, do the work, take the time, find myself, look for the light, arrive when I’m ready. It isn’t easy, but I know that already, because I’ve made this choice before. The other side is worth it, I know this because I’ve been there before. Hope is something you have to hold onto with both hands. If you start to weaken and let it slip from your grip, it can be devastating. Hold on with all your might, just as you hold onto that rope crossing the canyon.
I wish things were different, but they aren’t. In the end, I know someday I will be able to look back and know I made the right choice.