Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trying to Keep an Open Heart

I just want to be alone so much lately. I've always been a bit introverted, but I literally haven't wanted to be around anyone at all lately - and that's not like me. For me, it can be so easy to just close off from the world. I know it's one of those things I have to be careful about keeping in check. Particularly as an artist - it is extremely tempting to only express my emotions through the things I create. While this is very healing way to express my pain - it can also turn on me and become a way of keeping the world at a distance if I'm not careful. I can begin create an image of myself through my art - let people see my pain the way I want them to see it. Sometimes, it's tempting to only let people see my pain that way.

Which is why I'm grateful for being able to write here - because it's one of the places I feel like I can let my hair down. Today, while sitting and reading over some of your comments from my last post - I just burst into tears. All my emotion came out just be reading heartfelt words from others, words that heaved themselves over my carefully constructed walls. I was surprised I was crying. I was surprised at how quickly I went from seeming just slightly melancholy to really really painfully sad. I guess sometimes we need someone else to pull that out of us… to notice it in us so that we can notice it in ourselves. It reminded me that I need remember to let people in more… to let them help me cry, or sit with my while I cry. Not just let them see what I create out of my pain - but let them see my pain, just the way it is. Gosh, why is it so hard to do that? Why is it so easy to just want to hide it away - especially when we know that it's what connects to each other the most?

In a strange way - it's actually something I miss about the first year. I was SO raw and so broken open that I did not close off from people. I couldn't. It didn't matter if we'd known each other five minutes… there I was, spewing my emotions out on any unfortunate soul who crossed my path! And to my surprise, in return, most of the time they gave so much love and support. They didn't gawk or walk away. And they still do give so much, but it seems over time I have slowly retreated and allowed people less of a chance to help me. I've become comfortable again at not letting people see me cry. It's a constant dance to try and remain open-hearted… a dance that others - including everyone here - helps to make a lot easier. I honestly don't know what I'd do without my widowed community. This amazing army of people whom I never - not once - feel ridiculous with. I hate that we all get it - but I'm so very glad we have each other. You help me keep my heart open and you help me to remember that sometimes even a really strong gal just needs to cry. And sometimes she needs to cry a whole lot maybe - and maybe even for seemingly no particular reason other than she's just sad. Thank you for all you do for me.


  1. My heart goes out to you... It is like you are writing my story. At first I poured my heart out to anyone and everyone... bless their hearts. But at about the 1.5 year point there seemed to be a shift in their responses and I started pulling inside myself for the past few months using my painting to express my grief. No one seemd to realize that the pain and grief is not a switch to be turned off. I love my husband even now 22 months later but no one wants to hear that so I keep to myself. Thankfully, a friend guided me to this website a week ago and I realize that I am not alone. Your post brought me comfort to know there are others like me... like us. My heart sends you hugs... and thanks!

  2. I find myself pulling back from others only 5 months after my husband's death, and I expect that's one of the reasons why I've such a difficult couple of weeks. It feels to me like people don't want to hear about it anymore. Maybe I'm just projecting. Thank you so much for sharing your journey in this way. In the short time I've been following the blog, Ive found it to be a source of comfort and strength. Hugs to,you.

  3. I'm like you in that I have to focus hard on not hiding away or retreating away from others. And, because of some other things that transpired after my husband died, I find myself struggling to find anything that brings me pleasure and don't even have that outlet. Like you, so thankful for this community.