This is Day 168 of my #6MonthsOfGrief Project. To learn more about this practice, feel free to visit Day One, where I explain this project in more detail.
Tomorrow is my birthday. Two weeks after my birthday is the one-year anniversary of my husband's sudden death. This is a delicate, emotional, strange time for me.
I was completely surprised by birthday gluten-free cupcakes from a couple of my co-workers today. I don't know if they realize how much it meant to me to be noticed and celebrated in this way. I have been "the new kid" at work for three months now, and this week is the first time I have felt like I actually "belong" — that I am part of this organization, and can hold my own, instead of having to ask everyone a million questions and ask for help with so many of my tasks.
After work, another co-worker took me out for margaritas and nachos and we ran into a friend of hers. This woman recognized a beauty and joy in me that I have not felt myself for a long time and when she said goodbye, she said "welcome to the family."
I don't know exactly what she meant by that, and yet I kind of do. I am returning to something. I am joining something. I am being welcomed into something.
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:
Art with Grief:
- Filmmaker Gemma Green Hope made a short animation in memory of her grandmother
- Photographer Sarah Treanor Takes Moving Self-Portraits to Cope with Her Fiance's Death
- When the Fall Comes, a film about Grief by Adriana Marchione
- Self-Portraits: Expressing Emotion Through Art on What's Your Grief?
- The Hard Romance of Grief by Mark Liebenow
- The poetry of John O’Donohue
- What Joe Biden Has Said About Dealing With Personal Tragedy And Grief
- Death, Grief & Shattered Assumptions
- Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong
- How Grief Can Make You Sick
- What's Your Grief?
- The Grief Geek
- Modern Loss's excellent resource list
- The writings of Tim Lawrence
- The Rules of Grief are for Other People by Shawn Doyle on The Good Men Project
- Grief Bibliography on Grief Healing
- Teresa “TL” Bruce's What to Say When Someone Dies
- They Brought Cookies: For A New Widow, Empathy Eases Death's Pain by Ann Finkbeiner on NPR
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
- Megan Devine’s Refuge in Grief
- The Geography of Sorrow: Francis Weller on Navigating Our Losses, interviewed by Tim McKee in Sun Magazine
- How to Be a Friend in Deed by Bruce Feiler in the New York Times
- 12 Things to Know About the First Year of Grieving Someone You Can’t Live Without by Laurie Costanza in Elephant Magazine
Thank you, and see you tomorrow.