It’s been two weeks since my last post and it seems like forever. I was out of town with a close friend at a scrapbooking weekend and to be honest, I came back pretty melancholy. I just wasn’t sure what to write about having been knee deep in memories for three solid days.
For those who are not familiar with scrapbooking, it is a hobby involving putting pictures in albums with decorative elements with the finished product being something special for generations to come. It is a treasure trove of memory after memory of growing up, family vacations and just about any event you have been involved in. Pictures are generally filled with smiles, beautiful scenery, and snippets of times gone by.
I did pics starting when we brought Lucy home, happy days in January, but as I moved forward, the realization of what happened during the next few months hit me hard. Not that I had forgotten, but the realization that it had been 5 months without Rick was like a truck full of boulders backed up and dumped right back on my shoulders. While I was working on the pics, I was ok. I was surprised I could do it this early on, but as I have mentioned before this isn’t my first time dealing with great loss.
I placed the pictures carefully and methodically on the pages, picking just the right things to accent each one. I moved through it like I always have, but I discovered I felt numb. I wondered “Is it possible to hurt so much and so deeply that you just can’t hurt anymore?” I think I answered my own question.
I believe loss of a child takes you to the depths of despair. It is a loss out of order and what should have been your future becomes your past. It’s not ok to lose a child. It’s not normal to lose a child and dealing with the enormity of it is overwhelming. I always wondered if it had desensitized me in some way. When I lost my mom, one of the other great fears of my life, I grieved in a different manner. I wondered if I handled it better because of losing Lindsey or was it the more natural course of life. She was very sick and very ready to see what was waiting for her on the other side. That gave me peace.
Now I have another great loss along with loss of hopes, dreams and expectations. In The Grief Recovery Method, it’s as simple as that. Everything we thought life would be is different. The retirement I dreamed of is different. The “growing old” together is different. There will be no more pictures of Rick and I traveling around the world, there will be no more pics of holidays and vacations with Rick. I guess that is what made me melancholy, the realization that such a wonderful life together has ended never to be the same again.
It has been 162 days since my life took a detour down an unimaginable path, full of twists and turns, and lots of unknowns. I am greatly affected by the little elderly couple walking to the car with their groceries. It hurts to be in groups where everyone is “coupled”. It a sharp pain that you feel deep in your heart. Everyone around you has continued their life just as they should. Time goes on no matter what you are feeling.
I asked myself sometimes ” How do I go forward?” There is no formula to navigate this unknown world , no magic that makes things “better”. There is only you. Your support system can be helpful, but they can’t do it for you. You have to take “griefs” hand, hold on tight, and keep taking steps. You will stumble and you might fall, but as long as you don’t stop I believe there are things yet to be discovered.
As I walk the maze this week, I pull out my compass, the one my mom gave me growing up. No, it’s not a physical thing, but a way of thinking. NEVER GIVE UP. Concentrate on what matters, do things that make you smile, don’t do what you can’t handle. While you travel the maze, take time to sit with your grief when you need to. You don’t have to explain yourself, you just have to keep trying.
So I sat with my grief last week and now I’m ready to work again. Compass in hand, emotions in check, plenty of water and food, I am taking steps. To where? Who knows, but toward HOPE for sure. Hope that my life can be full again and I can be a different me. I hope I like the new “me”and I hope she makes me proud.