I have been away from here for awhile – over a year in fact. I’m sure no one that used to read still does. I understand, I wouldn’t either.
I talked a lot about my late husband on here. I even used this as a bit of a sounding board after he died. Then I stopped, mostly because I couldn’t write without the turmoil of my emotions slipping out. I was struggling to hold the pieces of my shattered self together which took all of my energy and focus. A bad, mean, indifferent, or even spammer comment would have destroyed what I was working so hard to maintain. So I fell back to an old friend – paper and pen. The words came slowly at first. I struggled to find the voice that I used to have. I found myself mulling over my thoughts before committing them to paper, like I was worried about what the reader would think. But there would be no reader – these words were only for me. Soon words flowed, uninterrupted and uncensored, like water over Niagara Falls.
The past 78 weeks have been the most difficult time of my life. Some nights the pain was so bad – it was like my grief was literally clawing its way out of me. Some days I was so numb that finding the desire to smile at something was a monumental task. Thankfully the pain has faded considerably. I still have bad times, more often hours rather than days, but I’m trying to build a new life for myself.
I have a new job in a new town. I’ve moved into a different house and sold the one we shared. I’m no longer surrounded by friends who knew Chad as a child – instead I’m reacquainting myself with my old friends and making new ones who never knew him. I spend holidays with my family and keep up on news in Chad’s family via text message and Facebook. I guess the next step is finding someone to spend my life with – a monumental task under the best of circumstances.
I’m learning who I am again and how Chad’s death has changed me. I know millions of people suffer through similar circumstances – some even worse – but grief is a very personal journey. There’s no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a loved one. What many people don’t realize is that the death of a spouse results in two losses: the loss of the loved one and the loss of the life that you shared with that person. I struggle with that loss every day.
Creating a new life has been much harder than I ever expected it to be. It’s taking more time and energy than I ever thought possible, but I’m working on it. The world is a big scary place for someone who has lost their way. I might not have a map to guide me, but I’m finding my way.