Someone once said that it is knowledge sets us free, but as I’ve learned, everyone’s knowledge is different.
After Michael died I knew nothing but one thing in life. I could no longer answer questions on why or how things turned out as they did. I could not tell you right from left. As time has passed though, I have embraced the unknown and learned to accept it as a companion on my journey here on earth.
Still though, there are those times, those gut-wrenching, bring you to your knees moments in which the lack of knowledge of how one has ended up in the predicament they’re in, can run a muck on the soul we each carry inside of us.
I don’t know why I can’t hold the hand or kiss the lips of my one true love, I don’t know why his vehicle had to be the one to be absorbed by the 2,00 pound blast, I don’t know why I must sometimes wander in a world in which few understand me…and yet…as overpowering and heartbreaking as some of these things may be I can only return to the one true thing I know…the northern light in a world that sometime has no direction….
I know I am loved…but not only loved but in love with my counterpart…my chosen one…my compass.
It’s all I know in a place that sometimes feels like a dark alleyway.
And that is all the knowledge I need…it’s all I need….and I am free.
Being a widow is no easy thing.
From picking up the pieces , staring at them like they’re some foreign thing, and trying to create something semi-comprehensible….to the “outliers” (those are the people outside my situation), that try and put their two cents in…or in most cases…89 cents in, to what my life should be. There’s a lot going on. But if there is anything that I have learned, it’s to FIGHT THE POWER.
Create your own rules, take the path less traveled (Mr. Frost was on to something)! If someone asks you how you’re doing on a bad day, reply with “Really freakin’ horrible.” If someone tells you they’re sorry for you loss, tell them they shouldn’t be, because what you have had/do have is more then most will experience in a lifetime. Wear your wedding ring till you die. Take your wedding ring off after a month. Chop off your hair while eating a gallon of Ben and Jerry’s. Run a marathon. Remarry. Never Date. Jump out a plane. Stay in your house watching soaps. Get a tattoo. Travel the world. Make a daily bucket list. Redefine what others have tried to define for you. Scream to the high heavens that you are a widow and SO proud of it. Surround yourself by people of all walks of life; They’ll either guide you where you need to be or help reinforce what you already knew in your heart. MAKE YOUR OWN RULES!
The truth is, I have never read a whole book on grieving or widowhood…I knew for me, I had to do the one thing that has no manual, guide or rules…and that’s to follow my heart. Has that put me in situations that may have been awkward for others, if not only myself? Yes. Has it brought me joy? Yes. Has it brought me struggle? Double yes. But the thing is, every night when I go to sleep, every step forward or step backward I have taken has been decided on by me. Not “outliers”, not “How To’s”, not by family and friends….just me. It’s because of that fact that I never have regrets…because no matter what the outcome, I know that I was the one who decided, chose, picked, and did it. And no matter what….that willingness to have faith in myself is something I’ll never have remorse over.
Fight the power…grasp your chaos…savor your solitude…celebrate your company…live your life…embrace YOUR rules.
“All your life people are going to try to tell you who you are. And sometimes it’s going to be tempting to believe them. But you must remember that you are who you feel in your heart and your head and down to your toes. You are who you feel deep down in your soul and radiating out your skin, and no one’s opinion (except maybe your own) can change that.”- La Joie Dd “All your life people are going to try to tell you who you are. And sometimes it’s going to be tempting to believe them. But you must remember that you are who you feel in your heart and your head and down to your toes. You are who you feel deep down in your soul and radiating out your skin, and no one’s opinion (except maybe your own) can change that.”
– La Joi de Vivre
As noted last weekend, the 21st marked 3 years since my hero’s death, but tradition continues of being around amazing widows leading up to or after the date.
This past week we were in Fayetteville, NC for our annual golf tournament for the organization, followed by our annual AWP Skydive!
Like all of our events, we have a definite melting pot of women at all different places in their journey. We spent time racing around in golf carts, talking till 4 in the morning, and lastly, suiting up to jump 13,500 feet out of a perfectly good plane for my 3rd year in a row.
During all of the festivities I have to say that I have never laughed so hard in the 3 years since Michael’s passing. Not just laughing, not even snorting laughter (which I’m known for), but hurled over holding my belly laughter.
Each year that I can make on notch on the widowhood belt, I’m left amazed at all that my fellow widows do for me in the continual process of healing a heart that has gone through the most devastating of losses.
As the trip came to a close, sleep deprived, in need of a shower or two, and smeared eyeliner accompanying the proud bags underneath my eyes, I looked in the mirror to see a noticeable change after my three not long enough days.
Not just a brighter sparkle in my eyes, but more evident, very well defined smile lines on each side of my mouth. Two lines that we’re a parenthesis to the grin that never left my face during my time with them. Lines that I proudly wear and look forward to deepening as the year’s pass with my fellow widows ,who help me make the stories that form the evidence of a live well lived.
I love you all!
Three whopping years since it happened.
Since my soul mate went to the other side and I ventured out in the unfamiliar world called widowhood.
The Angel-versary is always a time where I look back on the time that has passed, things that have been conquered, feelings that have been realized, and growth that has taken place. As I drove in my car one evening, thinking of these things, thinking of THREE, one thing took precedent.
In the rehashing of all that has transpired, what came to mind the most were the three words that have got me through it all. Three words that he said to me for the last time on May 21st, 2007. Three words that have not only carried through my grief but helped me soar above it’s grasps into a life where smiles are more prevalent then frowns, and memories are recalled while making new ones.
Three words that on this three year anniversary will be heard in my heart and felt in my veins. Three words that have defined my being.
I LOVE YOU.
“The clouds in your eyes,
down your face they pour…”
plays in the background.
Down they pour, as I wonder
what I’ve become.
Where are you?
They pour down my face,
over my neck, and like
settle over my heart….
Weighing it down.
I need you…come take me away
The other night I was enjoying dinner with one of my great friends. She is also a widow and will be coming up on two years since the loss of her soul mate.
As we sat and enjoyed our meals, drinks, conversation and company, it became obvious that in a restaurant full of people, we were the only ones laughing, smiling, toasting and enjoying the evening to the fullest. At one point, a waiter even came up and commented on how we brought “happiness” to the abode.
So what was our secret? It wasn’t the drinks, but more so – the stories we were sharing, the struggles we are currently facing (that we confirmed were normal), the love of our heroes, and this crazy life that we’re daily trying to figure out. Conversations that if most were listening in on, they may feel sad for us and the hardships we face. Yet, it became obvious to me that we are doing and were acting as we did when our loves we’re still here, because it was in that evening that they were brought to life.
Brought to life in the way that we were not hiding from our realities, but embracing them and the fact that we have come this far do to the love that still burns in our souls and beings.
And like the quote above says, it’s about remembering to turn on the light. I can’t say I always remember to, but with the right people and the right spirit,
I am more often.