The book I am reading Journaling a Pathway Through Grief by Wendy Dean is a great reminder of the struggle we face to unlock our happy after loss.
“February 21, 1994
It is the “letting go” part that I can’t figure out. Can you live, laugh, let go and honor your memory simultaneously? ( She is writing to her deceased 19-year-old daughter) I’m so afraid of letting go of my acute grief if it means letting go of you. I want to hold on tightly but know I can’t live the same way if I want to live my life. Do I?…in some ways, it all seems so paradoxical. In some ways, to not care at all about anything-and yet to start to notice things again (colors, smells), like coming back to life after being in a coma. Afraid to live again for fear of more pain, bad surprises. To love too much means to be open to more pain. Easier to feel numb, remote and yet, somehow, the soul feels, the body breathes, all in spite of yourself.”
These are all very good questions that we ask as we recover from loss and move toward unlocking our happy. The one thing that I experienced is that the time is takes to ask yourself these questions, differ for everybody. Wendy was asking these questions at about 9 months after the loss of her daughter. You may take longer, that is OK.
Fortunately the human spirit can not be broken, and as women we have an inherent need to care, nurture and to hope. You my find that the love you lost may drag you to despair. In time, the fight within you to live, and to overcome will prevail. Then you too will be able to notice color, sounds and eventually adore someone else’s baby, even though you never have a little girl of your own. You may have to set some boundaries in the process to protect your right to heal, but you will get there.
Now that I have celebrated ten years without Olivia, I look at it as a ten-year stretch of constant self-improvement to strive to be the mother a little girl would be proud of. I focus more on what I need to do and less on what I don’t have, but those strengths of mine did not come overnight. It took me a long time to unlock my happy and a long period of unconditional love from my mother and husband to get to where I am today.
Everything worth having is worth working for, so my friend, if you have noticed some colors, or some beautiful blessings, allow that to resonate with you. Do not swipe it away and ignore it as though it were an annoying email. Focus on the good, stay with it in an appreciative manner. Watch out,just as the jealousy monster starts to rear its ugly head, let it go, and focus on something else more positive and a little less Pollyanna.
Hard times in the grieving process are easy to come by, but glorious moments of beauty while grieving rarely emerge. Do not ignore them and do not worry, hard times will show up again. It maybe any easy task pre-grief, but one can often be associated with a daunting task of “Why me?” and “WTF”.
You may ask “how am I ever going to get a hold of myself if these little things keep popping up”? Do not fear, here is where Lisa Nichols comes in. She is an advocate for building your muscle and though she never talked about building your grief muscle(that I know of), if she were here that is exactly what she would tell you to do. Everyone has had a time like this and it’s all about how you deal with it that matters. Every time you get past a hurdle of grief you have just used and made stronger your grief muscle and you can do it again and you will. Stay on course, acknowledge the highs, look at the lows and do the best thing you can at the time. Be gentle on yourself. This new flexing of your grief muscle will not always be easy and there will be days where you feel like you need a truck load of Ben-gay to get through it. Just once more. I promise you things will get better, but you have to find out for yourself and unlock the happy.
Never self medicate always try to mediate your feelings with a friend our support group.
From a motivational video by Eric Thomas
“Pain is temporary, it may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year, but eventually it will subside, and something else will take its place. If I quit however, it will last forever.”
The pain will forge you into a new beginning and it begins with the ability to see some of the beauty around you. Do not doubt your power to move forward.
Moving forward is not forgetting –Liza J wolf.