Sunday, August 21, 2016

Surviving Year Two - Week 1 & 2

Lone Wolf

When I finished my #6MonthsOfGrief Project, I slipped into a dark depression. It got so dark that I had some serious suicidal thoughts that scared me. The one-year anniversary of my husband's death was part of it, but I also realized that my Grief Project was helping me process my grief in bigger ways than I could comprehend and when I finished it, there was nowhere for that energy to go and it started to tear my soul apart. 

During my #6MonthsOfGrief Project, every day the Grief Monster would wake up next to me and say, "Let's play! What are we going to make today?" and when I stopped playing with him, he got very, very angry and started breaking furniture and knocking me around and scratching me with his long claws. It hurt in a way I was unprepared for. I have to make time for him. I have to make time for my grief. So I have to keep creating around my grief, and while I cannot do an image a day, I would like to commit to putting something together once a week, that gathers up all the images and thoughts and threads I have been gathering around where my grief is, and weaving something together to share with all of you. 

My canine friend Friskie has passed on and images of her now sit on the altar with other dearly departed.

I have begun Year Two of being a Widow, and so far it is a million times harder than Year One. In that first year, I was in shock. I had a lot of help. I focused on mundane, bureaucratic tasks. I lived in the cocoon of grief. Now I am living my "life," now — even though it still doesn't feel like my own. I have a new job. I take care of myself (badly, but I do). He is really gone and I am really living that truth and it makes me want to stop living. But I know I must keep going and figure this out. He would want me to find joy again. He would want me to love again. He is rooting for me. He believes in me.

I need to keep being playful friends with the Grief Monster, or he will surely kill me. So I'm giving this a try. The artist in me doesn't like how similar this is to my last Grief Project, but I don't know what else to do and I have to do something. Perhaps it will grow and change and transform, as I do.

Thanks for being a witness. See you next week.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The End of my 6 Months of Grief Project

The End
This is the last day of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.

I did it. 183 posts. One post a day for 6 months. When I started, he was 6 months gone. Today he has been dead an entire year. Last night, friends came over and we had a bonfire. We burned spices in the fire and told stories about him. It was good way to spend this hard time.

I am amazed by this project. I will miss it and I'm also relieved that it is over. What comes next? We shall see how it all unfolds. I don't have many words right now. I just feel loved and hopeful.

Thank you to all of you for following along. One of the most important parts of this project is to be witnessed and I am so grateful to you all.

See you next time.

Friday, August 5, 2016

6 Months of Grief Project: Day 182

Out at Sea
This is Day 182 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.

It is the eve of the first anniversary of my husband's death. I feel out at sea. But all day I have been getting calls and messages of love and support. In this morning's meditation at work, my colleagues chanted his name. Yesterday, I received a beautiful surprise bouquet. Tonight, I have a good friend making me dinner and tucking me in. Tomorrow, friends start showing up at my home to celebrate his life and death with a memorial bonfire. I feel held. I feel loved. I feel cared for. I am grateful. I am humbled. I am hopeful that healing will continue to come and wash me out to sea and back to shore again. I ride the tides.

Today's image is actually a screenshot from a short video I made on my lunch break, down by the Bel Marin Keys. You can see it on my Instagram feed.

_________________________

I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:


Living with Grief Resources:

And remember, I am sharing this project on a variety of platforms, including my InstagramTwitter, & Facebook feeds, as well as my Pinterest page on Grief. I use the hashtag #6MonthsOfGrief, so it can easily be found on any platform. Please share this project with anyone you think might need it.

Thank you, and see you tomorrow.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

6 Months of Grief Project: Day 181

Scavenged Lotus

This is Day 181 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.

As we approach the end of this project and the one-year anniversary of my husband's death looms over me, it's like all the energy is being sucked out of my body. I am having trouble feeding myself and I'm not sleeping at all. I have been walking through this week like a zombie, hoping that I'm heading in the right direction, but having no ambition to actually figure it all out.

Friends are coming on Saturday to be around the fire and celebrate his life... and his death. I wish I could sit around that fire forever, until I too catch fire and burn up into ashes. I don't want to do this anymore. I don't like my life without him. I don't like myself without him. He saw the beauty and brilliance in me. How do I see that in myself? I don't know how to do any of this.

_________________________

I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:


Living with Grief Resources:

And remember, I am sharing this project on a variety of platforms, including my InstagramTwitter, & Facebook feeds, as well as my Pinterest page on Grief. I use the hashtag #6MonthsOfGrief, so it can easily be found on any platform. Please share this project with anyone you think might need it.

Thank you, and see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

6 Months of Grief Project: Day 180

Big as a Redwood

This is Day 180 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.

This photo was taken 3 years ago today. We were driving back from a trip to Portland, Oregon through the Avenue of the Giants. My husband was a giant and I thought he would live as long as those old redwood trees in the forest. 

My grief spirals in and out, like the spirals inside that tree. I want to feel those giant arms around me again.

_________________________

I am very aware that this project can bring up a lot around yours or other's grief and loss, I will always follow every post with some online grief support resources that have helped me. Please feel free to let me know of online support that you have found healing in your grief, as well:


Living with Grief Resources:

And remember, I am sharing this project on a variety of platforms, including my InstagramTwitter, & Facebook feeds, as well as my Pinterest page on Grief. I use the hashtag #6MonthsOfGrief, so it can easily be found on any platform. Please share this project with anyone you think might need it.

Thank you, and see you tomorrow.