I am not the same person I use to be. Everyone said it would happen. It’s true, I am different. How could it be any other way? Everything in my world changed so of course it makes sense that everything about me would be different.
Chad and I were living our best life before cancer shattered everything. We were madly in love, raising three amazing kids, having fun adventures together, and enjoying the big and small moments we had together. The favourite part of each of our day was seeing each other after our work days. We had a regular routine of dancing around the kitchen after supper, singing duets, and then cuddling up for movies after we put the kids to bed. Each week, I thanked God for Chad and the life we built.
I flourished in that old life. I was always positive, enthusiastic and adventurous. I laughed easily and felt like I could handle anything as long as I had Chad. Life was busy with three kids in sports but Chad, my best friend, was there chauffeuring our kids around with me. I loved living, doting on my kids, giving back to my community and being lavishly loved by my husband. Chad thanked God for me and I was so happy being his wife.
The New Me
These past two years I feel myself be different. I tend to be more negative and grumpy. My “sadness” leaks out of me without me meaning to and I go through seasons where my world is coloured grey. Although, I have many happy times with my kids and loved friends, they are often enveloped in heaviness. I understand when people say, “Grief is like living two lives. One is where you pretend that everything is alright, and the other is where your heart silently screams in pain.” I have changed and I miss the old me.
The new me, however, should not be discredited. It is this different person who has been sculpted into someone stronger, more determined and more courageous. This new person is also more sensitive to God, better at understanding brokenness, and takes nothing for granted. I am intentional with my healing and am beginning to see how diamonds are refined by pressure. I am building resiliency in my kids as they see me live my grief each day. Making choices to do the right thing and find joy again even if I don’t feel like it. They see me lean into my grief and God yet it doesn’t consume me. It teaches them they can do this too.
Although I am different, I have such hope. My seasons of grey do not last as long as they use to. I feel a deeper joy and thankfulness which allows me to have a different and good sense of myself. I am accepting my new life and no longer chasing the ghosts of my past like I use to. I am present in each moment and acutely aware that the future is not guaranteed. The new me is different, but the change is not all bad.