Over the past year I have been very blessed to have become acquainted with many other women and men who have also lost their spouses. While I will forever be grateful for all of their love and support, I have to admit that after speaking with them or reading their blogs I often find myself wondering what is wrong with me.
Everyone who has experienced a great loss no matter what that loss is will tell you that everyone grieves differently. They say that you can't compare your grief to that experienced by others. While I have seen that this is true beyond a doubt, there are some experiences that they all seem to share. They all talk about experiencing physical pain of some sort. They talk about periods of uncontrollable tears. The amount of time that they each experience these things is different, but they all seem to say that they have experienced it at one point or another during their grieving process. I never have.
The experience I have had with my grief seems so mild compared to everyone else who has walked this road. I often find myself asking if I didn't love him enough. I often feel guilty for not grieving for him as much as I feel I should; as much as I feel he deserves to be grieved for. Every time that someone tells me how they can't believe how "strong" I have been through all of this, my guilt increases.
I remember saying multiple times after Wayne passed away that I felt like I had completely lost my sense of identity. The things that I used to love doing didn't even remotely appeal to me anymore. I felt lost almost all of the time and I began to question whether I had ever really had my own identity. I started to think that I had created my identity around Wayne and that I hadn't actually ever taken the time to figure out who I was as an individual. I set out trying to figure out who I was. I felt that I needed to create an identity for myself.
Over the past few weeks, I have really started to finally settle in o my new life here in Indiana. I have made some new friends and I have gotten into a routine. I also started my Butterfly Project which I am still really excited about. This morning as I was going about my Saturday, I experienced a moment of clarity. If I look back over these past few weeks, there are multiple instances where I can see the person that I used to be before Wayne passed away. As hard as I have tried over the past year to create my new identity, now that I have started to feel comfortable living with my new life, my "false" identity that I had lost when Wayne died has decided to reappear.
The person that I was when Wayne was alive, was really me all along.....I have just been grieving.....in my own way.