Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What if this is as good as it gets?

Inner Peace
Inner Peace (Photo credit: d0.0b)

Well meaning people tell me to find my "inner peace" as a way of dealing with my current anger over the unfairness of losing Greg.

Apparently I should just let things "be" and let the angst go and I will feel better.

Inherently, I know they are right ....

...but I am terrified.....

What if this is as good as it gets?

What happens when my children grow up and move out?
What happens when I am left on my own?
What happens when I know that I am not enough?

When I lost my husband, I lost my sense of self.
I lost who I am.
....who I was.

I lost a lot of other things too ....

I lost my religion.
I lost my faith.
I lost my ability to remember things.
I lost my confidence.
I lost my sense of worth.
I lost my femininity.
I lost my sense of fun.
I lost feeling unconditionally loved.

I lost knowing that I was somebody's somebody.

But .....
I have found some of those things again ... not many of them ... but some of them.

....and I have to hope that I will continue to find pieces of my old self and add in pieces of my new self
until I am me again.

Maybe then I can find my "inner peace" and know that if this is as good as it gets, that it will be OK.

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  1. I have discovered (after the year and a half of my husbands illness and the year and a half since his death) that acceptance is the only way to inner peace. Every time I go back and try to rewrite what happened, any time I spend in anger at his family ( mainly his mother who abandoned him in his illness over religion) any time I look to far ahead and think "what happens if I die alone?" - all peace goes.
    I know now to survive this I must stay present in this moment. No that doesn't mean I don't grieve, get angry, wish, hope, sob and miss him incredibly. The big difference is just in noticing what living outside the moment does. How it increases the suffering and how it keeps me stuck.
    And when I find those quiet moments of inner peace - I find gratitude for our love, our 36 years, our children and grandchildren, our history, our memories, our romance and passion and love story. I find I can thank the universe I was lucky enough to have him for as long as I did.
    And at the last - I can find a moment to say I am so grateful to have this day to remember and to love.
    If this is as good as it gets, it will have to be enough because this day is all we have.

    1. Your comments said everything I've been trying to express and haven't been able to. I don't want to figure out all those future questions, especially the what if alone questions. There is no more us and I thought there would be so much more us to share into the future. I take care of what I must that is needed in the future for work and the kids. I am not able to live there as who I really am or who I was with him. He made me a better me, always my best friend, always loving me no matter what. My heart lives only in the present because I haven't found who I am without him yet. I am nearly 13 mo out from waking up next to my love, my life and 30 min. later hearing his last words in this world. I was there, I watched him leave not able to do a thing. So unexpected, so undeserved. In that moment all future of an us left. I gave gotten to the point to be able to live in the moment. I can smile knowing I was blessed to have him in my life. I look forward to somedays evenings not hurting so much without him there, without our conversations. I hope the future will figure itself out for me one day as I go through them, each and everyone of them without him by my side, but in my heart.

  2. Thank you Amanda for this post. I may share it with some people. It is so hard to explain to people not widowed what I have lost. It is so much more than the man that was the center of my universe. It was my universe. Seems like the entire planet blew up
    (life went on as normal for everyone else - they still had partners and dreams and plans for their futures)
    The kids and I traveled the world together but without our beloved Duke. He was not by our side but in ashes to be scattered at places he and I only dreamed about going someday. Someday my kids will know that they can return to these places and remember going with a mother that was doing her best to be happy for them while grieving for their dad, what was and what could of been. By that time I hope to have found me again for them..they deserve the mother back that was happy, confident, optimistic & an enthusiastic parent. I never realized I was so much until it was gone...taken from me with my loves last breath...slowly transformed when the cancer diagnosis was given....she is in here somewhere and inner peace is here at times.

    1. I think this is the best I can hope for - those small moments of peace. Not true peace as I know it won't last and they don't take away the pain and anger .... but those small moments might just be enough to keep me going. X Amanda

  3. This may be as good as it gets...my children have grown, they have moved out, I am on my own, the first time in 40 years, and I have lost all those things too, and am not sure if I will find them again. Not sure who this new me is, she's not anyone I know. I agree with anon above, I too try to live in the moment. The past is gone, no reason to keep focusing on it, you can't change it. The future is uncertain, it may not even happen, you can worry all you want about it, but it usually turns out different than you expect anyway, so why worry? Be here now.

  4. While appreciate everyone's comments ... telling me to be in the moment *doesn't work* on me. My brain is simply not wired in that direction and no amount of telling me to live each day will work.
    I simply do not know how to do it.

  5. Deardarl - it isn't something you do, it is something that you have to consent to let happen and it will with time.
    Sometimes it is a matter of a few seconds and those seconds are the place you breathe. Being here now isn't about denial it's about being. . .just being with yourself - whereever you are and noticing when you are looking back, or longing, or looking into the future. Just noticing.
    when my husband was so critically ill, my mind would just pop me into a daydream - the future where magically he was well or the past where we were happy and he was well. But I couldn't stay there, because if I did I would have missed all of the precious moments to be had with him -while he was right there.
    So i would tell myself "oh there I am again, in another life that is not mine, not here, not now".
    It wasn't a judgment, it was just an awareness that i was doing it. So I could stay present.
    So maybe it isn't "be here now" so much as " just pay attention to where you are" when the moments come when you realize - you are just here. . . that will be the recognition that you can do it.
    It isn't magical at all - it is a gentle way of accepting the present time.

    1. ...and still, not in my nature. Not at all. Not one bit.
      I plan.
      That is what I do.
      I can not function without a plan, without an eye on the future, without knowing where I want to be.

  6. Making suggestions and fixing it is not what's needed here.
    What's needed is to listen, acknowledge, validate: this does suck. I'm sorry, love. It's a crap sandwich it is.

    1. Thank you for understanding that at 2 years out, it's far too early to try to "fix" me. I understand that people want to fix the broken, but yes, validation goes a lot further towards that end.

  7. This is not an absence of plan. The planning goes on all around this. It has to - life happens, bills have to be paid, groceries bought, cars fixed . . . .I am a type A list person. I have a five year plan. I write out a "to - do" list every evening for the next day. It doesn't get in the way of these moments.
    I guess that is why some people choose certain religions over others etc. . . I am Buddhist.(and I consider it a practice not a religion) This is the way of life I have chosen, it is not for everyone.

  8. I am 14 months out. There is no fixing. Never implied that at all. I guess it is far too difficult to explain and every persons path is uniquely there own. I acknowledge that grief is painful and difficult but it also can have moments of happiness and peace and to not acknowledge that too is to deny the truth for someone else.
    there is no right way, just the way we all will go through our grief process.