Sunday, January 30, 2011


Grieving is the constant reawakening that things are now different.  It takes you through stages that come and go and reinvent themselves with no rhyme or reason.  Days go by where I feel happy, walk with a smile and laugh without restraint.  These days leave me with hope and confidence that I’m doing well.  Then like a demon, self-doubts, pain and unfaced terror begin to chase me.  It starts slowly with a thought or a memory, a sinking feeling of dread and ends with a force so strong it takes my breath away. 
After an extended time of forward thinking and inner strength, I recently began to feel the imminent threat of a chase.  I didn’t try to fight it, have learned long ago that this is a hopeless cause.  Instead, I braced myself, shut down quickly and waited quietly.  It came late, grabbed a hold of me and wrapped it’s powerful jaws around my entire being, refusing to let go.  I found myself falling apart on the bathroom floor.  A feeling of desperation took over the strength I had worked so hard to gain.  I sat with the lonely thought that there was no one to pick me off the floor, no one to even know I was there.  As I cried, I welcomed this demon as I had met him before.  I was prepared to spend the night in this state, knowing morning would bring an inability to pull myself up and face the day.  Yes, I had been here before and was familiar with this company, but something felt different.  I was surprised to find, like the last leaf on a large maple tree, a small piece of my inner strength was holding on dearly.  It was enough to pull me off the floor, walk me back to bed and place me under the warm embrace of my comforter.  It was enough to reward me with a solid night of sleep and enough to pull me out of bed in the morning, ready to face the day.  What had happened, I’m not sure, but it was something that breathed life into me when I least expected it.  Something I know I’ve worked for and although just a baby step on the road to recovery, a leap in my quest for inner strength.
For months my coping mechanism was charged by avoidance and the inevitable process of redefining myself was squashed.  I am not fooled into thinking that I am anywhere near the person I will become.  I am aware of a paradox, aware that letting in the demons of pain, facing them full throttle will inevitably bring me closer to the self I need to become.  Things are different, I don’t want them to be, but they are.  Through reflection I’ve set out to center myself and begin to accept this forced change.  I’ve promised myself to push my energy into fighting the avoidance for this is my true demon.  I must work to move forward, begin to hold strong to my acceptance and redefine what I know to be true.
“Minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pit
My hand was made strong by the hand of the almighty,
So I move forward, triumphantly.”  -Bob Marley

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My New Normal

 "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."  -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
     Last night my wireless Internet stopped working so I called Time Warner and fixed it myself.  This afternoon I needed a rug so I went to Pottery Barn, bought a rug, drove to the loading dock, picked up the rug, brought it home, carried it in and unrolled it myself.  This evening my cable wasn't working so I called Time Warner yet again and fixed it myself.  All of these things would have fallen on Ryan, but here I am, figuring it all out by myself.  I've finally begun to accept that life without Ryan is my new normal and I'd never say it was easy, but what I can say is that I'm doing it, everyday I'm living my life one step at a time.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Live Your Life in Sunshine

Through quiet reflection I’ve been working on centering my inner self.   I imagine my life working like a protractor where I choose the starting point and stretch my boundaries as far as I’d like.  Once I’m comfortable with the distance, I make a concentric space where inside I have control of my decisions and can live my life the way I choose.  This metaphor describes my need for power and the quest to reclaim my own life. It also shows my need for neatness and order.  I’ve never been a controlling person, type A in my ambitions, but not my routines.  I’m easy going, still in my sleep and relaxed in my day.  This is all I want back for myself, this soft and happy lifestyle and what I spend every day focusing on regaining.
Strength comes from within and like adrenalin, promises to support you when you are in the greatest of need.  It’s not necessary to ask or pray for strength, it’s just there, quietly waiting.  Then, in your weakest, darkest hour, strength shows its face, picks you up, wraps you in a warm embrace and gently pushes you forward.  This is a secret only a select will ever know.  One is not expected to understand or believe the phenomenon until you are faced with a situation of utter need.  Hopefully you will never need, but rest assured that if you do, strength will be there to pick up the pieces and move you forward.  I know the secret, have held hands with the secret and can assure you that as the days pass, my inner strength, although temperamental, grows stronger and has proven to be unconditionally loyal.
I have to move forward, it’s the only choice I give myself.  It was never an option to burry my head in the sand or to hide under my covers.  There are plenty of moments where I fight what needs to be done, where I refuse to move from my spot, but in the bigger picture, when the moment passes, these tasks get accomplished and I continue my forward progress.  Life goes on and I work to remind myself that life is not how it is supposed to be.  It is the way it is.  The way I cope with it is what makes the difference.

And finally, after a much needed vacation and some sun on my face I say:
Rise up this mornin’
Smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and sure
This is my message to you
Don’t worry, about a ‘ting
‘Cuz every little ‘ting
Is going to be alright…

Thursday, January 6, 2011

That's When you Find Yourself...

The days are long, the nights are longer.  When evening comes, mental exhaustion wraps its shadowy arms around me, suffocating my chances for an easy sleep. 
Bed's too big without you
Cold wind blows right through my open door
I can't sleep with your memory
Dreaming dreams of what used to be…
            I am so tired of walking through life feeling empty.  I’m busy not only mourning the loss of my husband, but also the loss of myself.  I do have short moments where I feel like that happy girl, easily amused and forever smiling.  Unfortunately, these moments are quickly shattered with the memory of my loss.  It never takes long, maybe a minute and it always comes on strong.  The pain that accompanies these memories is excruciating.  This pain has become my new companion and a constant in my life.  I miss Ryan every minute of every day and my mind swims with dark thoughts and memories.  I close my eyes and see his code being called, hear the police asking me to sit down.  These awful memories hide behind the distractions of the day and refuse to be pushed aside.  I don’t know where I’m supposed to go or how to navigate the path back to myself, but I know with everything I have left that I want to be me again.  I want to feel excited; I want to look forward to the small moments and big events that life has to offer.  I want my heart to swell with happiness, my body to shake with laughter.  I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I do know it’s not today nor will it be tomorrow.  I can only hope it won’t be too long because this shell that I inhabit is thin and cold and I long for the warmth and comfort of my former self.  The self that I know is there, hiding deep within and quietly waiting.  I pray that the ironic sense of losing one’s self in order to find your way is true…
We go through life
So sure of where we’re heading
And then we wind up lost
Sometimes when you lose your way
It’s really just as well
Because you find yourself
That’s when you find yourself