I haven’t written in awhile…again. Honestly, I’ve been rethinking my blog…again. When I started the blog it was my outlet for processing my grief and my hope was that doing that would help me heal and would maybe help other people as well…both understand what the kids and I are going through and help friends and family that love us keep in touch. In reality…it has been a great outlet for processing…but I also put a lot of myself out “there” and make myself very vulnerable. In doing that I have opened myself up to a whole new ocean of heartache…when my heart can’t take much more. But….I like to write and I think it does help unravel all the thoughts rolling around in my head…so here I go again…
Last time I wrote it was the first anniversary of Jason’s death. In the widow world we all refer to that day as “Jason’s Day” or “Jeff’s Day” or “Ron’s Day”….it’s just easier. The day went nothing like I expected…mostly because I was focused on other people’s grief instead of my own. The only way I could do that was by forcing down all my sadness that day and focusing on the good. It did help me have a better day. The day after Jason’s Day I was going to have a “me day”. That didn’t happen because Anna ended up with a rare day off of work and her and I spent the day together. That was important…but again…pushed all my sadness down.
If there is one thing that I have learned in the past year it is this: Ignoring Unpleasant Emotions Never Works. Does that mean that I sit around all day being sad? Actually…sometimes yes…I have days where my sadness just cannot be ignored. Where no matter what I try to “do” I find myself back on the couch with my dogs next to me riding out waves of pain…or sleeping the day away off and on just to give myself a break from feeling like shit. But I think it is giving myself permission to do that on those days that helps me function when I need to.
So after pushing my feelings down for a few days after Jason’s Day…all of my grief came rushing back with a vengeance and the past couple weeks have been rough…and most of my grief is coming out all sideways…mostly as anger and hurt…which is even harder to deal with than sadness. And that’s when I find myself wanting to withdraw from the world. Hide myself in my house. Bandage up my heart…again. Build the armor a little bit thicker. Go to a friend’s house…drink too much…rage and cry on her couch.
Thankfully I have friends and family that love me enough not to let me hide too long…and keep me engaged with the world. In the past few weeks I have discovered that I love going to St. Paul Saints baseball games…I went to the Guthrie in Minneapolis to see a play for the first time (Emma…soooo funny)…I went to my first NFL game ever (Vikings vs 49ers) and absolutely loved that as well…I had a great visit with one of my sisters and my nephew and one of my brothers and his family. And after every single one of those fun moments I came home wanting so badly to tell Jason about it and all the pain of my reality came rushing back with a vengeance and really, really sucks. I want to come home giddy from fun times and maybe a little tipsy and cuddle up against his back and wake him up. I just can’t get used to him being gone.
And now it’s been a year…and wow…people have a lot of opinions on how I should feel or what I should do. Things I have heard recently…*I should stop choosing to be sad *I should just keep busy *I should be grateful for what I have *I should be proud of myself *I should focus on the good things every day *I should choose to be happy *Jason wouldn’t want me to be alone so I should look for someone else…melded with I’m too young to be alone for the rest of my life. It is amazing how people who have never gone through anything remotely similar feel as if they are somehow qualified to give me advice. Please don’t do that.
A little update on our kids: Anna is back at school for her Junior year(!)…Seth is starting online classes in a week and has a new girlfriend in Sweden(!)…Levi will be starting his Sophomore year in about 10 days and just took second place yesterday in a pickleball tournament with his girlfriend (pickleball is just for fun…tennis is still his jam). I am so proud of all of them.