First of all. I’m not quoting Frozen, although it is on at my house pretty much every day:)
Grief. What an ugly, stupid word and frankly, I’m getting tired of it. Tired of thinking about it. Tired of it being part of my life. Anyone who experiences grief in their life can attest to the horrible nature of the word. You can grieve over any loss. A job, a house, a way of life….a spouse. Really, it’s just the process of being sad all the time, forever, but still striving to have normalcy and happiness in life. Grief hurts because it’s unnatural, it’s our circumstances pulling us in a different direction than our hearts and minds want us to be going. When we lose a spouse, our hearts and minds and also our bodies have a hard time adjusting to our new circumstances. We want so desperately for things to go back to the way things were but we are powerless to make that happen. Because we have no control sometimes we revolt. We stand up with defenses up and fight. This my friends is a waste of energy.
It’s complicated, when life, like mine, has changed drastically over the past 6 years. To the point of no recognition at all. If Benji came back he wouldn’t have the slightest clue where to look for me. It’s a bizarre notion, however sometimes I have the fantasy that he comes back and slowly learns where I am and what I am doing. Then, when he finally finds me I am able to tell him everything that he has missed. Please tell me I’m not the only one with these fantasies…these weird, delusional thoughts. If you are a widow, I’m sure you’re right here with me. I would be a different person to him. Wrap your head around that. I can’t, I tried. So do I really long for things to go back to the way things were? I don’t. Not anymore. I have to be ok with that being ok. Sometimes widow guilt takes over and I feel like I should still be living in the house on Sherman, crying away. But maybe by moving forward it’s me embracing the grief, not letting it take over.
I feel like I’m rambling…I’m a widow. I get to.
“The body remembers”, words I’m also tired of hearing. BUT it’s true. It does. I wake up on certain days and my body physically hurts. I have learned in therapy that even after 6 years it is completely normal for me to still have bad days. Bad grief days. I know I’m not the only one. Unfortunately, this year that I just completed, year 6, has affected me more than any others. I don’t know why. I hurt all over. I have weird unexplainable pain. I have anxiety. I am so very tired. I have tried two naturopaths, midwives, a chiropractor and a kinesiologist. They each had a different approach but nothing, I mean nothing seemed to help. I had every test done and was assured that I am healthy. One doctor even said she was stumped. Not what I needed to hear. So by the final request to my husband that I would try one more and be done I came upon a naturopath down the road from my home. This one was different. She wasn’t trying to deal with only my physical self but also …my grief. Through shared tears I told her my story. I didn’t expect to have such a heart to heart with a doctor but it was healing. She assured me that although I had low iron that I am healthy and my body is experiencing PTSD, even 6 years later. I don’t manage stress well, I need to surrender to the grief, not deny it and relax. For heaven’s sake, relax.
I have been spending so much time and money trying to get answers and really all I need to do is face the fact that my grief is hurting my body. But not just the grief but also the rapid life changes that followed Benji’s death. A marriage, a move to a different state, and a pregnancy. Although these changes were God ordained and I’m completely thankful for the every day, even to the point that I feel like I must be dreaming because I’ve been so blessed…this is taking its toll on me in every way. I have never wanted to admit that grief has made me sick, I kept thinking that there has GOT to be something else wrong with me but I can’t believe that lie any longer. Now I need to sit back, except that fact, take some deep breaths and surrender it. So my prayers have been ones of surrender. I am done. I can’t do it anymore. I cried those wet, hot widow tears all the way home as I laid every worry, every stress, every bit of my grief into the hands of Jesus. I am done. I am so thankful that Jesus promises to carry our burdens. I just wish I would have surrendered this sooner, saved myself some pain.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30).
I have spent the last few days assessing my stress. I get worked up over the most insignificant things and I notice my body clenching. I am on edge and frustrated a lot. I think I hide it well but behind the doors of my home my poor family gets the worst of me. I don’t want to be this person. I don’t want to be yelling mom. I don’t want to be angry and short tempered. Everyone knows when you don’t feel well it’s hard to be lovely.
But, I want to be lovely. I want to be the Proverbs 31 woman. I want to be a comforter, and an encourager, a hard worker, a wise decision maker. I want to be strong mentally, physically, and spiritually. I want to be dignified. I want to bless my husband and my children. I want to be charming and graceful. I want to feel good. Fighting my grief and embracing these traits doesn’t work.
This is hard to do. But I know that I can lean on the power of God and it is not something I have to do in my own strength. It would never happen if so.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
So writing this is my way of saying “hey world, I am grieving…still…it sucks!” I’m letting it go. I’m letting myself off the hook and allowing myself to have bad days without feeling guilty…like I should be over it.
I am going to surrender it in hopes that I can feel better physically and also become the woman I was created to be with all of the complications. I can allow God to weave my grief into my new life, instead of fighting it and not letting it in. I can be a mess, but a beautiful one.