Saturday, February 5, 2011

It was really me all along

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 my own way. 


Christine Dallimore said...

I totally agree with you girl. Everyone grieves in their own way. I think just because one cries and cries more than another, doesn't exactly mean that they loved their loved one more. We all know how much you love your sweetheart. Perhaps, deep down you KNOW he really isn't that far away? You are sealed to him and WILL BE reunited with him again one day. I've noticed you also rely on your testimony and our Heavenly Father's love...I think that right there says a lot about your strength and awesomeness! I don't think a person is strong because they do or don't cry over a loved one. I know you are strong because of how you handle yourself...with extreme grace. I believe that is what everyone is seeing!!! Of course you have bad days...and will have bad days. But I do love how you shortly show your determination to arise. I can only imagine how many you are helping by your sweet example of this. Oh and your butterfly picture? Love it!!! You have the best smile and twinkle in your eyes in the world you know that?!?

How to Survive Your Grief said...

It's not the quality of the grieving that honors the dead. It's the quality of the memories.

the misfit said...

That sounds really hard, deciding whether you're grieving "enough." I know when my husband's uncle died a few years ago, his five grown children really took it hard. His wife of many decades didn't - she cried at first, but we went to visit her "up north" where she lived (in their house by herself - her kids tried to convince her to move down to the populated part of the state and sell the house, because she must be lonely, but she refused) and she had so much peace. She told us (as she had told her kids) that she didn't miss her husband because she knew he was still there with her. I'm not going to argue with her there. There was nothing unstable or irrational about her at all - she had complete peace and was taking care of herself (she is in her 70s) and obviously healthy and happy. No doubt that she loves her husband with her whole heart. She is still doing well. Thinking about her, I have to say, I don't think the degree of suffering is the measure of love.