I recently read a blog about walking between your two lives after the loss of a loved one. It clicked with me and has left me thinking about where I am walking in my life right now. The idea of the blog was that as a widow, as she is one too, there comes a time when you are living with one foot in your former life and one foot in the new world you have made for yourself. You have to try to balance the two and wait for the right time to fully step into your “new normal”, your new life.
I am finishing up my second year as a widow and I am amazed at how the journey of grief has gone so far. The beginning was all about surviving the pain and shock that came with Pat’s death. It was about helping the kids adjust and understand. It was simply forcing myself to get through each day. By the time the end of the first year rolled around I thought I was in a pretty good place with things.
I was wrong. The beginning of the second year was rough…on all of us. It came at us without expecting it which may have made the hit feel even harder. We were thrown off kilter for a bit but then settled back in. Most of this second year was about trying to figure out who I am now in this new world of mine. Trying to figure out what to do now. I accepted the loss of Pat and the fact that life will never be the same again. I learned that I am no longer the same person and what I want and desire in life is no longer the same. This has been my main focus for some time now. I am getting there. I have learned a lot about me and I have decided what I want and don’t want in life. The details aren’t completely mapped out just yet, but who’s life is a perfect plan in action?
Now I am finding myself in a new place. The feelings that go along with it are different too. Living in the end of my second year and seeing the third year heading towards me leads me to a place of let’s get up and get going. I think I have done a hell of a lot work for years now. I have thought about everything. I have analyzed, critiqued, adjusted and improved myself. I like who I am. I like where I am at…basically. The place I am in now is one of being ready to move forward. I have talked about the need to continue to move forward and in my mind I have. I have prepared myself mentally and emotionally for the move. Now I am ready to do it. I am ready for action. I am ready to step into the new life. It has come that time for me to say goodbye to that in between place we widows live in for a while. I have dipped my toes into life multiple times and retreated back to my safety, but here I am…ready.
I think the fact that I have been writing like crazy shows I am back in the game. My book is coming along nicely and I am ready to begin the process of starting a non-profit. I am sure I will still be hesitant about things, but I know that now I am ready to get going on with this thing called life. It is time to start putting my words into action.
Walking between my two lives is sometimes quite a balancing act and it is mostly done in order to make others feel comfortable with things. People have their own opinions as to how we should live after the loss of a spouse. Even though they have never experienced it. It is okay. I get it. I didn’t know before I was one too. I thought I knew what it would be like or what I would or wouldn’t ever do, but you never know until you live it. I understand that people can be uneasy with me finding a happy life after Pat. It’s not that they don’t want me to be happy…they do. But it needs to be on their timeline…when they think I should start being happy and what that should look like. So I walk that line. I don’t want to hurt people or make them think I didn’t love Pat or our life together by finding happiness again. I want to be considerate of others feelings and ease them into the new me. All that I have now…happiness and my new life honestly has nothing to do with the love I have for Pat. It is two separate things. The amazing thing about the heart is that there is room for more than just one love…more than just one life can bring you happiness.
There is no way in hell I would have believed any of that 2 years ago. But now that I have lived this life, I know that it is. The heart has an abundance of love to give. Just because you love another, doesn’t diminish anything you had with the first. The love goes on. Just because you find happiness and peace doesn’t mean you are “over” anything. I will never be “over” losing Pat. The pain is just something different now. The wound has healed over, but the scar will always remain. My love with him and my life with him will always be with me. I will always have that. And I am proud to have that. Having a second shot at life and finding happiness or love or peace in life doesn’t take that away. It is different, but it can be amazing.
So as I am entering this next chapter of the grief journey I am ready to take the next steps necessary to ease me out of the waiting room and back out into the world. I have come to that point where I am wanting to get up and do something.
I hope you all stay with me on this journey. I can’ wait to see what keeps coming my way. It has been quite an adventure so far. I never thought I would make it to this point and find my way out of the fog of grief. I don’t only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I can finally feel the warmth of it shining down on me.