Some days, it seems I’m almost getting used to not having my husband here. I’m sobbing less and smiling more. I think of him hundreds of times each day, but with less debilitating pain. Is this what they call healing? If so, why does it still feel bad? The idea that I’m getting used to it makes me feel terrible. How could I ever “get used to it?”
This brings me to the realization that my grief is a connection between him and myself. It’s a direct tie to the love I had during my life with him. The tears and the pain are like evidence that he lived, proof that we loved, and confirmation that his life mattered! So healing, moving forward, finding joy again is a potpourri of confusing emotions. On one hand, I know this is healthy. I know it would be what he would want for me…to be happy, to move forward, to remember him with laughter and not pain. But it also feels like I’m abandoning him and diminishing the magnitude of love I had/have (grief tense problems again) for him.
I certainly don’t want to be a person “stuck” in grief for years and years, but yet how do I embrace healing when it means moving farther away from him? I recognize it is human nature to move forward, even when we think we can’t, but these better days are playing games with my head. The human spirit is a miraculous thing, but matters of the heart, which grief certainly is, is so complex!
I’m thankful for less paralyzing moments of pain and heartache and also a little distraught that I’m not feeling those things as frequently anymore. I’m able to joke about him more, talk about him with laughter and smiles and sometimes the tears don’t even follow that.
I also know, after a little over a year of grief practice, this may not be a permanent condition. Tomorrow I may be on my knees, face in my hands with sorrow. But the stretches of doing ok are becoming longer. The unpredictability of my emotions is lessening. I’m growing slightly accustomed to life without him. You can tell me it’s natural, normal, human nature, healthy, whatever you want to call it, but it doesn’t feel right just yet. It feels sad to be happy without him. It feels wrong and almost obscene to have days where I feel normal.
It’s quite the internal struggle and emotional tug-of-war, to genuinely desire healing but almost need the grief as evidence of the love I felt for him. I suppose at some point I’ll be better equipped to fully accept both pieces, together. But right now, they don’t feel like emotions that can or should go together. Right now I feel it is an either-or scenario, even though I know that’s not how it works.
I’m working on accepting this new change in the way I’m grieving and trying to give myself permission to mourn differently than before. I’m trying to accept these new feelings and understand they don’t mean I’m missing or loving him any less.
Grief… specifically the ways we do it are certainly unpredictable, impermanent and evolving, am I right?
Thanks for your patience with me as I work through these new, complicated, confusing and messy parts. Someday feeling better will feel…well…better. Until then, thanks for staying with me.
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