To Be Continued...
Lately, I've been feeling something I can't quite put my finger on. It's not something that came on suddenly but it's been more like a slow build. In fact, it's been so subtle I almost didn't notice it. And it wasn't anything concrete or worth mentioning. Something along the lines of growth or optimism or contentedness. Something I haven't felt in a very long time, if ever.
I was messaging back and forth with a close friend and we were talking about getting out of our comfort zones. We were talking about how hiking for me is similar to what mountain biking is for her. How the not knowing how to get there or where to find the trail head used to cause us both anxiety but now it feels exciting and adventurous. We were acknowledging what a big deal it is for both of us and how proud and accomplished we feel when we're done. She said to me I've noticed a change in you. I can feel you moving away from the acute grief. You're smiling more. And you're laughing. Have you noticed that you're actually laughing? She saw it too. This difference. This new chapter. This...happiness.
I'm not even sure if that's the right word for it or what to attribute it to. Could it be the new flowers I added to my garden or that our caterpillars are turning into butterflies left and right? Is it that I've been running again or working on a painting project that I can't stop thinking about? Maybe it's the fact that as hard as parenting has been I've been conquering it one consequence and one good talk at a time. It might be our Saturday morning adventures or movie nights or other new traditions we've come to love. It could be all the therapy and coaching and hard work I've put it. Or the amount of time that has passed since my husband passed away, allowing me the time I needed to process and to grieve and to grow. Maybe it's all of these things.
Either way, I thought this would be a good place to pause and come up for air. To take some time to myself before writing more posts. To take a step back and reflect. To recognize how far I’ve come and where I want to go next. And what I want the blog to look like going forward. But also just to be for a little while. To explore what it might feel like to identify as a human and not necessarily as a widow. To work on being present and continuing to grow as a person. And maybe decide what I want to be when I grow up.
I’ve often wondered if consistently writing and talking about my husband, Brian, keeps grief in the forefront of my mind. I’ve wondered if talking about his suicide and how our lives have been affected by that keeps me stuck in a widow state of mine. I’ve wondered if posting and following the topics I do on social media is preventing me from moving forward in some way. Only looking for the loss and not focusing on all the progress and the growth. I’ve wondered if it’s safer to stay in this place that feels awful, yet familiar, rather than venture out into something scary and new.
I try to remind myself that I can write about anything I want and that it doesn’t have to be about suicide or grief. After all, it’s called My Messy Little Life, not My Dead Husband. But somehow, it seemed that everything in my life tends to relate back to my husband and the fact that he died. Even if it's just as a mile marker or point of reference like before my husband died or after my husband died... And at the same time, I ask myself, is everyone sick of hearing about this yet?
So for a little while, maybe a few weeks or a couple of months, I plan on continuing to do the hard work and practicing a lot of self care so that I have plenty of material to write about when I return. The format may be a little different and I may focus more on every day life than just grief and loss but I'm still the same me. Thank you so much for following me and for being a part of my journey. In Hawaii, we don’t say goodbye. We say a hui hou, which means until we meet again. So until next time, take good care.