On April 1, 12 days ago, I made it to the one year mark of hanging on and “doing life” after Brian died. If I have learned anything in the past year of my walk with grief, (and trust me, I have learned plenty), it is this: If there is any “normal” in the world it is that the journey we each make through grief is a difficult and very personal one. Over and over again I have been surprised at how, just when I think I may have turned some kind of corner, grief takes me right back to my absolute lowest point. Sometimes I’ve had to literally claw my way back up, only to be sent back down again another day. It feels like climbing a steep cliff one day, feeling like you’ve made great progress, and then waking up the next morning to find out that somehow you have ended up back at the bottom, and have to do it all over again. Grieving is like that. It is exhausting.
I try to remember that what counts is that no matter how many times you fall, you always get back up. You keep trying. You don’t give up. It’s a lot like exercising: When you keep doing it you get a little stronger each time. And, just like at the gym, we have a set of exercises tailored to fit our unique, personal needs. Our exercises are not identical to someone else’s. We all have different muscles that need to be strengthened. It’s important to realize that sometimes we need to drastically change up our routine to get the best results. Then, if after trying out the new routine we still aren’t getting the results we want, we need to adjust accordingly. Perhaps we eventually decide that we need help, a personal trainer, a coach. Results won’t be overnight. It takes diligence, commitment, and a strong desire to succeed in order to make the change we need, both in our exercise routines and in our life. And, for many of us, this may be the hardest thing we have ever had to do in our lives. But we do it anyway. In her book, Resilient Grieving, Lucy Hone says, “We will find our way. There is not a ‘correct’ way to grieve, just as there is not a correct way to love. Each of us will discover what helps us and harms us as we work to incorporate the loss into our life.”
Throughout all of this I like to think that Brian is speaking to me, cheering me on, perhaps using the wise words of Piglet to Pooh when he says: “If there ever is a tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But, the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you.”
that there are
waiting for you.
comes to all
who feel rain.