Saturday, February 4, 2017

Surviving Year Two: Week 26

A Widow's Bouquet
This is Week 26 of my Surviving Year Two Grief Project. Details about all my Grief Projects, as well as Grief Resources can be found here

I am exactly halfway through this project. My husband has been dead for a year and six months.

I wrote this one year ago:
"The death of a spouse is rated as among the most stressful life event that humans experience (Amster & Krauss, 1974; Holmes & Rahe, 1967)." according to the American Psychological Association
Add losing your job suddenly on top of that, and it's no wonder I have trouble keeping it together, right? I've got this Eastern European Ancestral Task Master named Gerta who lives in my head and berates me constantly that I am not working hard enough, not "getting my shit together" fast enough. I've been crying every single fucking day for 6 months straight. How does someone survive that? How is my body still functioning? Let alone my mind? And my heart? I'm so angry and so sad, all the time. Life doesn't make sense anymore and my day-to-day life feels like a craps game, played in a dark alleyway by nervous hustlers who don't give a shit about tomorrow - they are just trying to hustle up enough cash to get through the night.
 Somehow, I make it to the next day, but I don't know why. I don't know why I am alive and he isn't. Nothing means anything anymore. I don't know why I get up in the morning. I feel like I need to strip my skin off and re-start as a brand new human being.
I feel like Widows in their first year should get to go somewhere - like a Land of Widows, where they don't have to work, or take care of other people. They can just do heroin and fuck each other and cry and eat chocolate and swim in the ocean - or whatever it is they need to forget. Whatever it is they need to heal. Whatever it is they need to feel like they are alive again. 
I'm sorry. Thank you. I love you." February 4, 2016
Baby Tristy - 7-years-old
It's so painful to read this, and yet it also helps me see the ways that I have shifted and transformed over this last year. I have a new job, and for all of Gerta's harsh ways, she is the reason I still have that job. She pushes me and forces me to focus and work, even when I am in the depths of despair, and I'm actually really grateful to her for that.

I still cry just about every, single day. This is exhausting, but also cleansing and somehow empowering. Feeling my true feelings as they come up makes me feel like I can face anything, because honestly, if I can survive feeling brutal heartbreak every single day of my life, what can't I face?

Today I hold my fungal widowed bridal bouquet. I have dwelled in the subterranean depths of my sorrow and grief and processed and absorbed the rich, dense earth of grief around me. I have burst up through the depths and bloomed, integrating the death and life into a new organism that I hold close to my heart.

This IMBOLC weekend, I am creating ritual. Some friends will arrive this evening and we will craft collages together. We will light candles. We will eat and drink. We will laugh and cry together. The collage I make tonight will play a role in a much bigger ritual ceremony I am creating, that I plan to have the weekend of BELTANE. It will be a marriage of sorts. A returning to myself. A commitment ceremony to self-love.

My husband loved me in a way that no one ever has. He loved the broken parts of me. He loved the lost, wounded little girl in me. He loved my ugliest, and most frightened places. He "rescued" me. And now he is gone and I have to learn how to love myself, because I have tasted true love and I cannot live without it. I am also beginning to deeply understand that no one is ever going to truly "rescue" me. I have to rescue myself. I am my own heroine. I am my own Knight in Shining Armor.

I love that lost little girl inside me and I want her to have everything she could possibly want. I want her to know that she is loved deeply and unconditionally. I want her to have that solid ground of love and support to face her fears and still do what she wants and needs to do. I can give her that. I am learning how to give her that. I am learning how to give myself that.

Thank you for witnessing me. See you next week.

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