Grief. Something I thought I understood. I thought wrong. Until about a year ago.
I write about it now, because it’s front and center at this moment. For whatever reason I fell deep into it last night…did the whole photo book scanning with a box of Kleenex. I never know when those random times are coming or why, but I embrace them when they do and move on.
It’s true what they say, there are definitely phases of grief. And it’s not just moving forward from one phase to the next…it’s going from one to another, and then you get to go back and visit them…fun, huh? Yea, I don’t think so either. It’s also true what I’ve been told, that after that magical year it gets easier. It truly does. However, at any given moment, without any warning, you can be zapped right back to grief, despair and pain. Raw pain. Brokenness. Thankfully, those times are getting further apart and they don’t last as long. Sometimes it’s a few days of being blue…but usually it’s just for the length of the song that brings you there, or for as long as you look at that picture, or…well sometimes is just because and just for a moment. But for anyone just newly suffering a great loss…trust me, it does get better.
When I first lost Mike, I was already in counseling to…well, cope with the loss of Mike. We were separated and I was having a terrible time with it, so I sought therapy to help me cope and be strong with my decision. Little did I know how much harder it was to become. I kept asking when the pain would lessen and when I would feel normal again. That’s when I was told there was no magic amount of time, but after about a year, most people seem to agree that’s when acceptance usually settles in. A year??!!! When you tell that to a person days, weeks and even months into it, it sounds like a life sentence. A year??!! I can remember panicking. I couldn’t wait that long to be ME again. The unbroken me. Thankfully, I have enough kids and chaos in my life that kept a healthy amount of distraction for me to eventually make that year go by…and I even was able to enjoy a good portion of it.
Now what I also didn’t realize was after that year and things are getting easier…it’s not that I was getting back to being myself. That old ME is gone and will never be again. And that’s okay. There’s a part of me that’s broken now. Like when someone loses a leg…it doesn’t grow back and they miraculously are healed. Most times they eventually do learn to walk again, but not quite the same. They walk with a limp. Sometimes I don’t even notice the “limp” in my heart…and other times it’s so heavy it feels like my heart weighs 200 lbs in my chest.
My heart has a limp. But it still works. That’s good enough for me.