4 Years Later

I haven’t written on here for a while.  I got caught up in trying to create a life post Kevin’s death.  Last year, I decided to move houses, and once the decision was made it happened very quickly.  I sold the house that we raised the kids in, and it wasn’t an easy decision to do that.  The house was so full of memories and, really, of Kevin.

I’ve moved into a much smaller house, perfect for one person.  I am starting to make it my own, and anticipate the spring weather so I can discover the gardens.  I have new neighbors, they don’t know me and I don’t know them – absolute bliss!!  And I am toying with giving the house it’s own name.  A sign nailed to the tree in the front yard.  I am leaning towards something like “Safe Haven”, because that is what I envision this place to be.  My little nest tucked away from the chaos of life.

Now I need to get back to the business of writing.  It’s been too long since I sat down and let my thoughts flow.  I feel like perhaps I am closing the circle of grief just a little, I can’t explain what that means, just that there was an intensity and drive for expression right after Kevin died, and then a lull or void where it didn’t matter.  Now that apathy has passed and my interest is back and it just feels good.  It could be because it’s spring, it could just be time, it could be the imminent birth of another grandchild; it could be all of those things.

I reflect though on how everything has changed and yet the things I feared through change didn’t come to be.  I survived it.  Family stayed strong, memories remain, love remains, friends remain. Life goes on, smaller and bigger at the same time, but always moving forward.

 

Better or Bitter

A couple of times I have found entries on my Facebook timeline that re-post “inspirational” messages specifically about the individual’s choice of becoming bitter or getting better when faced with challenges in life.  That it was ‘simple’, one could either accept what life dealt them or, if not, “allow it to tear you down.”   Really?  What depth of personal experiences are the life sages that come up with this stuff drawing from that they can write such broad sweeping statements?

Things simply aren’t that clear cut, to say it’s either/or – bitter or better – suggests that life events are all equal in magnitude for all people, and that things will either go one way or another.  With respect to my husband’s death, I don’t believe I’ll ever get “better” from Kevin’s death, I will definitely adjust and have started that process, but I am also not “bitter” about his death.  I suffered a tremendous loss when Kevin died and it will take a long time to normalize after it.  I was emotionally battered, subjected to a wide range of feelings through my grief, all normal, and they will leave a lasting impression.

I think about my grief counselling group.  The facilitators would be aghast if they saw a message like that – ‘you either get better or bitter’  in relation to the death of someone dear.  We never talked in terms of getting better, because grief isn’t an illness – excessive grief can result in some health issues, but grief itself is an emotion with many stages that one needs to work through.  Grief is different for each and every person, and each and every person will work through it at their own pace.

As for the statement that you need to accept the cards that life deals you or if not it will tear you down – I disagree.  I think about the Heath Ledger movie, ‘A Knight’s Tale’, where his father tells him as a young boy to “Change your stars.”  I think about my husband, he changed his stars in his mid-30’s, he wanted more and chose to have aspirations and not ‘accept’ the cards he had been dealt up to that time.

I’ve probably spent far more time on this silly little ‘inspirational’ message then it deserves.  It just bothers me that the authors of these ridiculous messages get any social media attention at all.  I believe that, in general, it’s not about the greater good for these folks, it usually, somehow, boils down to money or advertising.
 

How Much Is Too Much?

Today has been a day that’s gone from bad to worse.  Ever heard of that saying, “If I didn’t have bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”  Two separate bits of bad news both equally devastating, both that I can’t share with my husband right now because they would significantly alter his state of mind.  One is not mine to share anyway.  I’ve been told to keep it quiet until the test results come back.  Needless to say it is someone close, and the “bad” part of it is not knowing.  The other bit of news is the death of a former co-worker of mine who we had met during our last visit to the hospital.  Feisty and determined, she was a slip of a thing when we had met up with her, but her spirit and verve were undeniable.  She just didn’t have the physical fortitude to go along with her mental toughness and her body let her down.  Sad, sad day for me, I worked with her for years and absolutely adored her, she will be missed by all who knew her.  I will tell him when the time is right but I will definitely not volunteer this information. 

For me the most important thing to do is to maintain his state of mind, he needs to be positive, to feel the love and strength of all those around him.  My commitment to him is to ensure that we keep looking forward and up, not backwards and down.   That the aura around him is one of sharing, caring, love and happiness and strengthens his inner spirit. 

Where to go from here?

It’s a beautiful day outside but things like that are irrelevant at this point.  I’ve been told that the most important thing to do now, is to try and make things as normal as possible. Do what you would normally do, not shut down.  But really in the last three days I have been told a whole bunch of things, my head is swimming.  Obviously each situation is unique, each individual is unique.  So today we are going to do what we had planned for a few months now.  When I made that decision, everything seemed to lighten.  Let’s hope it was the right one.