The ten month anniversary is almost here. As the teen days creep up or sprint to the twenties, the nag comes up in my head. “it’s almost here”, it whispers. Each month I’ve handled the nag differently. The first few were buckets of tears and then less and then more. This grief is like waves. Up and down. Sometimes the rip current so harsh it feels like drowning and some days, it’s placid.
When I read this woman’s account of grief today I wanted to shout, YES! THIS! Preach Sister-Widow! It’s like she completely understood me in a way that I didn’t understand myself. It was as if she validated in my coping mechanisms (Douglas Green Sauvingnon Blanc and Netflix), my feeling about what K has missed (He totally would’ve wanted to go to Cuba and the President’s Own has a B-flat opening.), and my utter shock at my own ability to go on. To move forward.
I feel like I dropped a cinder block on my 804 mile journey to Alabama. My world, flipped upside down. And at the same time, the guilt webs it’s way into my skin. Am I allowed to start to feel better? Is it wrong? Is it too soon? I feel like every day I wake up here is a better day. I feel like I am in the exact right place where I’ve been called to serve. Is this ok? Is this fair? Does this disrespect memory?
The other thing about Rachel (my new sister-widow)’s blog was that it made me feel ok about the way I’ve chosen to publicly live grief. I do not, for one second, judge sisters who prefer a private path. For me, living this out loud has helped. It makes me feel like a can take the stigma out of grief. Perhaps that is the Yankee in me and most polite Southern gals would shy away, but I believe this authenticity has been what has kept me whole.
And so we go on.
My 2-year old nephew died on his birthday two and a half years ago. My sister in law is so strong, but there are days when her grief is so palpable through the phone, text, for Facebook update that it makes ME cry.
You own your grief, no one else can or should tell you how to live or express it. I have a feeling that it can and will change. Whatever it morphs into, I’m sure you will bear it with the same dignity and grace.
Your friends are with you.
You are brave and resilient; keep running, singing, teaching!
Thank you for sharing, Sarah. I have watched your courageous journey with awe. And I am excited for your future!