Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Finding A Balance ......


...... is sometimes difficult to do.
In all areas of life.
And on this blog.

It's difficult to write posts that will connect with everyone.  If we write about how horribly dark and depressing and hard-to-survive those first days, weeks and months are ...... we don't connect with those who've been in this "club" for quite a while.

If we write about finding happiness again (albeit a different happiness) and that life is once again worth living, we don't connect with those who are drowning in grief.

We can't always reach everyone.
So what do we do?
We write what we know.
We write what we're living.
That's all we can do.
It won't always be enough, but that's why there are seven of us.  Hopefully at least one writer will write something that will make you feel less alone, less crazy, less ...... lesser.

There's no doubt about it ...... having a reason to be here, reading this ...... sucks.
And that's putting it mildly.
I came kicking and screaming into this club.  I didn't want to be here, I didn't think I belonged here, and I hated being associated with anyone who was here.
And while I still hate that I have a reason to be here, I've come to accept that ...... here is where I am.
No amount of kicking or screaming, or hating that Jim is dead ...... will bring him back.

That acceptance did not come easily, and it did not come quickly.
At least not for me.
I grieved hard.
But then, I loved hard.
I had him for a long time.
Not long enough, to be sure.
But long enough to ensure that I was going to grieve a long time.

I'm not dumb enough to believe that I will reach a point where I'll never grieve.  I will always miss him.
But I have arrived at the point where I am no longer sitting in the bottom of that deep, dark, cold cave that is grief.  I slowly managed to walk out of that cave.  And I do mean slowly.
In the beginning, I thought I'd never get out of that cave.  I imagined I'd die in there.
And I almost did.

But I was stronger than I thought I was.  I made it out.
It took longer than I wish it had, but hey ...... out is out.

So what's my point?
Just this:
We are all grieving.  Yet we all grieve on our own time line.  There's no right way ...... or wrong way.
We grieve the way we grieve.
For as long as it takes.

But hopefully, once we get past those oh, so very hard first months ...... or years ...... one day we look forward, and notice that the air around us is a little lighter.  The future has turned from coal black, to dark grey.  And for the first time, we feel hope.
Hope that the sky will become lighter still.
Hope that we'll one day be able to take that last step which will take us, finally, out of the cave.
Hope that one day we'll smile again ...... and feel it.

So even though you may not believe it, or want to hear it, hope is out there.
You don't have to believe it ...... yet.
Some of us will believe it for you.
And we'll be here ...... when you're ready.

So while my words won't connect with all of you, I want you to know that I was there.
In that cave.
And if I could make my way out ...... anyone can.
I promise.


  1. So very, very true. It is a journey to be traveled at one's own pace. Each of us needs a different amount of time to "sit" in that cave to heal and regroup and prepare for the journey towards the light.

  2. Janine,

    This is the third fall since my husband died. Yesterday morning when I was walking I noticed that I could actually see and enjoy the colors of the trees. This is possible because you have held out that hand of hope and I decided to reach out and grap onto your hand. I am slowly walking out of the deep cave of grief.

    Thanks Janine, everyone who writes and everyone who posts a comment for sharing your walk along this path that no one wanted to be on.

    We are all making our way out slowly, but surely.

    Maria O.

  3. Janine, you are so right about "timing" and what the right message is from you or any of the other writers. After 3.5 years, my outlook seems to move as much as the sun moves....happy, sad, hopeful, devastated, satisfied, unaccepting, etc. Some days I need to hear a message of hope but then some days I need to have my sadness affirmed. Unfortunately, the non-widowed/ers world just doesn't get any of this and certainly can't understand tears after 3.5 years.

    With that said, I would be totally lost without this blog! My sincerest thanks to you and your fellow writers for sharing your hearts with all of us!

  4. I still live in the dark, crying like a toddler waiting for someone to make it better. I need him back, I am a nonperson without him. Nearly three years and I still struggle with the guilt and pain . The self pity weighs me down until I can't see the world .

  5. I have been in this cave for 28 months and I'm still grieving and begging my husband to come back which I know is impossible. I, too, am half a person without the love of my life. My husband was my hero, my protector, my lover; he was everything to me. I know there will be no other man in my life which makes me feel very lonely, but that is my reality. I had a meltdown all last week even after all these months. My family and the few friends that are still around don't understand why I'm still grieving. Only those who have lost the love of their lives knows what we're all going through. I feel at home here on WV for you all understand.

  6. Thank you for your words of hope. As you said, we all greive differently, no right way or wrong way. I know my life is forever changed, and will never be the same. Someday I hope to be happy again, in some way. I was always a happy person, and this fog, heaviness that surrounds me all the time is quite debilitating. It is good to know that we can find the light once we step out of our cave, whenever that will be.

  7. I think we're all stronger than we realize, and part of that is because of this site and all who contribute to it. Thank you bloggers and commenters.

    As Janine keeps saying, keep going, day by day. I'm facing my 4th holiday without my love, can't believe that number, I still just want these next few months to be over. All the lights and decorations and parties etc mean nothing anymore. Just as I remember the important dates of births and weddings, I also remember the dates we found out about his cancer, the procedures, the downhill slide to the end. Happens every year for me. I am more aware of how it affects me this year, so maybe that is progress? Hoping and praying I can get out of this dark cave someday, it is no way to live. I've been hibernating long enough, but as you all know, it takes as long as it takes with grief by your side.
    Holding onto that promise that I can find my way out.

    1. "I think we're all stronger than we realize..."

      And I think we're all afraid to admit that fact. I never thought I'd get past one week when my wife died almost two and a half years ago. When this first happened, a colleague told me, "Just take baby steps." She was so right. I think that whenever we hit anoth "wall", we need to get back into the baby-step mode again and again as it happens.

  8. You say you don't know the right thing to say... but then you do :) Thank you, dear Janine!