With May marking the 6th year of Micheal’s transition, I figured that I’d cover 6 things that I’ve learned or that still ring true. Some of it may seem monotonous, but it’s monotony that seals the cracks to the weak spots in our soul. More than any of the six things below, I want to acknowledge that each and every journey is unique. There is a shit ton more than the 6 things noted below that I’ve learned, but here are just a few of mine, and mine alone:
1.) I’m still madly in love with the dead dude!:
I tried to run away from my pain after his sudden death. Tried convincing myself of things/falsehoods, that I thought may lessen the pain. They didn’t. The pain ate away at every ounce of what I thought was left of me before bringing back to the one truth and constant that was there all along. That our love is eternal. He is in every moment of my happiness and accomplishments, and gently nudging me as I trudge and trudged through the darkest of minutes, months and years. Being in love with someone not physically here has never for a moment equated to me living a less fulfilling, exciting, and amazing life…if anything, after seeing that I could withstand and overcome the grief (and what seemed like it’s deathly grip), I was able to feel the very essence of what his love did and does for me continuously. Who he was in his life, guides me after his death. I simply just love the ability to say that I had the privilege to be his wife, and find it an honor to call myself his widow.
2.) The only way I could start becoming me was by doing what I didn’t think I could do:
It started with breathing without him. Then it turned into smiling and laughing. Then onto trying new things. Creating new things. Growing. Acknowledging. Embracing. Living. I didn’t think it was possible. But with each new step. Each new leap. I remembered who I was before the loss and started creating a me I could fall in love with, again. The more you hesitate, the more the fear will grow in you that you shouldn’t or you can’t or you won’t. So just do it! Shedding the “what could or should have been” is the only way you can evolve.
3.) I hated that it got easier, but it did…it has:
As I started recognizing that I had more good days than bad. The moment that I switched from being able to count the number of days I didn’t cry in a year on one hand, to the number of days I cried on one hand, was scary. My grief and pain had become an extension of my life without Michael, but my mind and heart were ready to shed that layer that I felt I needed to hold onto in fear that it would be a shedding of my life with Michael. It wasn’t. It isn’t. All new things, all things that are worth reaching will face discomfort and our mind telling us not to march forward…but I did, and it was so worth it. It revealed a life that I didn’t think was possible to be a part of after he died.
4. )Some people just won’t ever get me:
People still try to tell me what I need or should do. Not as many, but they’re there. I’ve welcomed them with open arms, as I know that it is just them not understanding something that I didn’t understand until I was in the midst of it. Acknowledging with myself that I got to take the path my heart and soul yearn for, makes it a lot easier to hug and show love to those who feel that it’s necessary to share their opinions. As long as you know that they’re nothing more than opinions (something we all have a ton of), then it makes those somewhat awkward moments a breeze. And believe it or not, those people make you that much stronger!
5.) I like the me I have become:
I used to yearn to be the person I was when Michael was alive. I seemed so much happier. I was the person he knew before death made me into what i felt was a ghoul. But 6 years later, I don’t wish that I could go into the past as much as I wish he could be here to see who I am now. Grief can destroy you or strengthen you…or in my case, do a bit of both. But now I am strengthened more than destroyed. I have made an exerted effort to continuously surprise myself. To challenge myself. To make him proud where he is…and most importantly, to make myself proud, as I’m the person and soul I’m with the most.
6.) I never thought I’d still be here:
In all honesty, I didn’t think I’d live a month after Michael’s death. There was a part of me hoping that I could physically die of a broken heart. I even remember looking at those who had lived a year after their spouse’s death and thinking that they must not love them as much as I love Michael. Well, I was totally wrong. I couldn’t die of a broken heart, but not physically. I could make the choice to die mentally and emotionally and do nothing more than be a shell of a being. I chose that for a while, but realized that I had to at least live for Michael until I could maybe one day choose to live for myself. It was when I did that, that I realized that those that had survived more than a month didn’t have less love, but had made the decision to do more than just exist. They were willing to take a path they had no clue in where it would take them. It was an amazing realization. It is a huge reason I am living, not merely existing, today.