Monday, April 25, 2011
When good things happen to sad people.
Okay, so here is my dilemma. What am I supposed to do when life is going well. Or, well enough?
I have been publicly writing, blogging, for three and a half years now. At first it was to keep family and friends up to date with Michael's battle with his brain cancer. Back then I wrote about medical updates, explaining the next chemotherapy trial, the progression of his tumor, then the ultimate message of his death. During that time I tried to talk honestly as possible, yet also balancing Michael's desire for some privacy. In between the difficult messages, were words of hope, and of true joy. I have to remember that even though our world was turned upside down, there were some wonderful days and weeks. During those two years we had many celebrations, and many reasons to be thankful.
After Michael died I decided that I needed to continue writing. On the evening of our first wedding anniversary, about a month after he died, I started writing my blog about grief. After writing for a couple of weeks here and there, I decided to commit to writing every day, as there was much to share. Basically, it became my wailing wall. When my first year was up I knew it was time to slow down.
Here's what I learned during that year. Lots. I learned much about my grief. I learned much about my propensity for depression. And, I learned how addicting it was to get immediate feedback from my public grieving. Here's what I also learned, sex and tears sell. Doing well on the other hand becomes a bit of a sore spot. When readers are looking for someone to identify their grief with, well, it becomes awkward to talk about good things.. It also makes me feel uncomfortable when the non-widowed take my current good fortune, or well-being, as a sign that it is now all behind me.
In the past year I have made some needed changes, and they appear to be going well. In the past week I was offered a job that I am thrilled about. In the past few days I got through the anniversary of my meeting Michael, the most significant day for us as a couple, doing well.
Am I cured? Hardly. Am I through the worst of it? I don't really know. Am I more optimistic. Definitely. If anyone went back, and read my writing exactly a year ago, they would find that I was contemplating suicide, and being very open about it. I was so lost in my despair that I was having trouble finding my way out. Well, here I am a year later. Alive. Good things have happened for me. I have found a new place to be. This place, my new home, and my heart, still have trouble reconciling all the pain and loss that has brought me here. Yet, in spite of it, I am very much willing recognize goodness when I see it, when I feel it, and when I have it.
And on that note, I close this post.