As the end of 2014 approaches, I have found myself taking a look back at how I felt early on in this journey. The change between then and now is interesting. If I allow myself I can see what people have been telling me lately. That is, I have come a long way and have worked really hard to be where I am right now.
Taking a look back, I remember meeting a fellow widow and discussing dating. I remember looking at her and saying, “I will never date again.” She looked right back at me and said “Yes you will.” Until about a year ago I truthfully thought, and had comes to terms with, it would be just Aaron and me forever.
Taking a look back, I remember feeling that there was no way I could love again. There was no way that someone should fall in love with me because I couldn’t give them what they deserved. A full heart. My heart felt beat up by the loss of what was supposed to be. My heart was broken into a million pieces. If I ever had a chance of loving again, being in a good relationship not only for me but for Aaron I had some work to do. And after suffering such a dramatic sudden loss, it took all my energy just getting out of bed that thinking about a relationship wasn’t even on my realistic radar. With help from many, that has changed.
Taking a look back, I see many roller coasters I rode. I have always hated roller coasters. I have been on and off the train. The anniversary, milestone and grief train that is. The roller coasters made me sick to my stomach. The trains went fast and didn’t stop as often or when I had wanted. Truth be told I needed to have the experience. I am thankful every day that I was able to get off the roller coasters and the trains. I owe many people for their help and for taking a few of the rides with me. I am truly blessed for those in my life.
Taking a look back, I remember feeling lost in my own life. There was this thick fog around me. I knew I was walking forward but I had no idea where I was going. Sometimes I would need friends and family to help hold my hand and guide me. The fog was that of disbelief, hurt and utter confusion. If you think about when you wake up and there is fog outside it is because the ground is cold. It takes the heat of the day to make the fog disappear. It makes sense. I felt frozen and cold within my grief of losing Jay. It took me opening my eyes and my heart to life in all aspects for my world to “warm up” and hence allowing the fog to disappear. I have opened my eyes and my heart fully to the beautiful life I want. The fog it gone.
Taking a look back, I see my struggles to move forward with a new normal. I struggled to understand that having a new normal didn’t mean I couldn’t have memories of the old normal. I had to let go of that old normal because there was no way to fix it. Once I let go of the fact I would never have that normal back it was amazing to me what the beautiful new normal looked like.
Taking a look back, I see pictures early on in the journey. The smile shows as a facial expression but truthfully that is all it was. It was the “I’m OK look.” I look at pictures taken now and it isn’t just my mouth smiling. My eyes are smiling. There is no painted smile on my face. I see myself content with life. Being content is something I was never sure I would be.
Taking a look back, it has not been easy getting where I am today. I couldn’t fix the problem. I had to rebuild. I did that starting the beginning of this year. The dividends I take in from this hard work make my head spin. Normally head spinning is not a good thing. The head spinning going on now is all good. I have control of my life. I have a strength I never knew I had. I have a love for all those around me that I didn’t know existed.
By taking a look back, I stand proud.