Last year at this time, I was enjoying a two week escape (and it literally was just that) to the San Francisco Bay area to meet a friend I had never met before, and then flew up to Seattle to see an old friend. I miss vacations!
I have come a long way since then. I read the blog post from exactly a year ago, and I was still very adament about really really not wanting this new life. Despite wanting or not, this was the life that was planned for me long before I was placed on this earth to live it. While I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m 100% fond and secure in this new vessel of my life, I am stable and growing, and moving forward. There are certainly more pleasures in this new life than there were a year ago, but it’s still a long way from saying I am perfectly OK with what has happened.
I do not believe I will ever feel OK with what has happened to me, what has happened to Kevin. I will still always feel a questioning in the deep somewheres of myself about why this happened, but I have chosen to not dwell on it-in the dwelling I’ll lose myself even more. Moving forward despite not wanting this new life.
I am, however, trying to make the most of this recreation of Brenda. It has been a month now since I’ve commited to myself to take care of my body and mind through counseling, eating better, and exercising. I am proud to say that because of making this commitment, I am now 10 pounds lighter, 6 inches slimmer, and a headfull clearer. I still may be unorganized, and a deep procrastinator, but you can’t change everything!
I do feel a sense of calm in my life-a stillness in the simple comforts of going through a daily routine of shower, cooking breakfast, work, workout, homework, tv, bed. It is pretty mundane stuff, but I also find time to meet new friends, to explore new places, and to discover what the treats are of my future. I still have a gypsy spirit in some ways, but stability right now feels not only acceptable, but beautiful as well. The chaos that fed Kevin and I’s life when he was sick wore me down so much, that now I cherish the simplistic beauty of daily living.
I have become, in many ways, proud of myself. In grief, it is so hard to see anything good, especially in yourself. Grief reflects the failures of your marriage, of your personal self, of everything you COULD have done. Grief steals so many things, and one of those things is confidence. Being something I was never good at building, and tried to overcompensate by proving, having grief steal any confidence I had away was devastating-talk about a life in complete ruin.
As I look back over the past year, as I reflect on how far I have come from the deep throws of grief, and when I look at the simple life achievements I have made, and the big strides I have overcome, I am proud. I have made it. It was so hard to see making it day in and out without Kevin as a personal success, but it was, and it is. Learning to live without someone who completes you is a success-a bitter one, but still, a success.
Reaching out to others also in grief, in battling disease, in aching for something loss, is an achievement. Somewhere, in fighting my own battle, I needed to see others win as well, and if they couldn’t do it themselves, I have and do want to help them. This is a success.
Telling my story, his story, our story, is a success. In opening up my heart and soul to others, to allow them to walk with me on such a painful journey, is a success.
Comitting to myself to live a better life than I have before, to care for myself, to work towards achieving dreams, however, small, is a success.
Grief took so much from me, but I have not let it take my, and the beauty of what makes me so powerful.