Grief is a funny thing. Well, not funny like, ‘ha ha,’ but the fickle kind of funny. It’s unpredictable and often difficult to recognize. I don’t always see it for what it is. There have been many times during the past fifteen months or so when the adrenaline was so thick in my veins that my heart had to beat fast to circulate the blood thru it. There were times I sought stimulation when I should have sought peace. I did not wish to be alone with my fears. There were some questionable decisions that, luckily, turned out well. My angels were on roller skates, I’m sure, trying to keep up. But I survived.
As the dust settles around me in this renovated life, I find the blood no longer hurdles thru my veins like a rushing river. The voices in my head have quieted to a normal decibel level and, most of the time, they even make sense. Finally, I have been able to find comfort in the beauty of solitude.
I used to tease my mother about being in her pajamas so early in the evenings. If she’s with me still, she’s enjoying the last laugh because I’m sure I’ve got her beat some nights. I hardly recognize myself, truthfully, when I’m cozied up on the couch on a Saturday night – alone. It’s absolutely glorious.
Contentment oozes from my pores. It is a welcome relief. Most evenings, I don’t turn on the television or even the music. The ticking clock on the wall is all the accompaniment I need. Crickets outside my window provided the perfect background noise before it turned cold. I am done running away from my life and all it’s messiness. I have created a blissful existence and I revel in it.
Not to say that I don’t get lonely. There are nights when I sat outside on my little patio chairs and feel the day’s warmth dissipate as the sun sank low. I’d think how nice it would be to have someone with whom to share it. Fortunately, there have been one or two who accepted where I am on this journey. But, in the absence of such, I am capable of finding the joy all by myself. To be honest, I like having the option. I have learned to value my own company over the wrong company.
It has all been part of grieving, for me: Experiencing the loss of my marriage, my home and my retirement lifestyle. It was a lot and I allowed myself to feel each and every painful moment. The only way to get over something is to tuck your chin and go straight thru it. I have emerged on the other side – whole, vibrant, engaged and ready for what comes next.
I still have my moments, but nowadays, it’s easier. Grief surprises me sometimes with its sharp edges. But it’s fleeting and I soon return to this fabulous existence that I’ve been blessed to create. The wonderful things that have been added to my life make up for the things I’ve lost. And I have salvaged the things that really matter- my friends, my health, my music, my writing. My extended family is smaller now and that loss endures. I accept that there will always be things that are beyond my control. I have a warm, comfortable home and rewarding, purposeful career. Every day, I feel joy. I am able to love and know that I am loved.
Who could possibly ask for more?