Last night I watched the movie “Senior Year” with Rebel Wilson. It is a comedy about a cheer captain who has an accident while doing a stunt and ends up in a coma for 20 years. Of course, when she wakes up life has gone on around her, but in her mind she’s still 17 with dreams of being prom queen.
The movie had its funny parts but I also found so much to empathize with. No, I was never cheer captain or the most popular girl in school. I never had aspirations of being prom queen. But I do feel like life is going on around me while I’m still somewhere in the past…not 20 years, but 2 years for sure. In the movie, Rebel’s character tries to make her old goals and dreams fit into her new life…and while that makes for great comedy as a 37 year old goes back to high school…it just doesn’t work well. But what is one supposed to do when one’s life changes so drastically in ways one never would have chosen or imagined? When the change is so big that the very threads of one’s identity are either completely broken or unraveling. When not a single dream or goal from before is relevant or obtainable. And life goes on all around…for everyone else.
I ran across this infographic the other day that pictures all of the secondary losses that occur when someone loses their spouse. A couple of these don’t apply to me….I still have my job and I’m not in danger of losing my house, although I would say that it doesn’t feel like “home”. And these are not even all of the things I feel like I’m grieving. I feel grief that Jason doesn’t get to experience a future with me and our kids. I feel grief that my kids don’t get to have their Dad and our grandkids won’t have their Grandpa. And on top of that is the trauma from watching the love of my life suffer for 15 months before dying in front of me while I was powerless to stop or fix anything. I feel like it would be easier to pull a Rebel Wilson and go back to school and become prom queen than it would be to have any sort of hopes and dreams for my future.
And so for now I am just treading water. Staying afloat. Trying to be a good Mom to my kids…making sure they have everything they need. Forcing myself to keep on kicking when I really don’t want to. Goals for today: enjoy nature…walk by the river…write…sit in the sunshine…get an ice cream cone. Today is going pretty well so far.