A little perspective goes a long way, huh?
I used to believe in and hope for the best in everyone. Give the best of yourself to everyone. Say yes to helping anyone. Why wouldn’t you?
Through the grief experience and interacting / corresponding with, so many people since Michael died, it made me not want to live like that anymore. No, actually, more than just, I don’t want to; I can’t.
In my rear view mirror, I can see it now. I wanted to run away. I needed space. Air. I felt like I couldn’t breathe under the tsunami of shared grief and outpouring of love. I know, I truly do… I am blessed to have all those good intentions around and it sure helped me know (beyond what I already believed) how much Michael was loved.
But, I couldn’t cope with it.
“Keep going,” they tell you.
“Keep seeing people – don’t you be on your own now!”
Well, bollocks to that. I’m so over the glorification of fucking busy. To saying yes to catching up with people who I don’t want to spend time with. Nothing positive ever comes of that. I see it even more now, in my rear view mirror…
“Work” was meaningless. People can be really mean to each other. Everyday life “stuff” was harder and feeling more affected by other people’s emotions is exhausting. Seeing how people treat each other makes me so, so sad. I see it all now, in hindsight, but it’s extremely frustrating coming from a place of almost-bullet-proof. That’s how I felt with him in my life.
My counsellor tells me it’s all part of the experience of “traumatic loss”. That you have a new grief lens.
I needed a sumo suit!!! A protective bubble around me to grant me the personal space I craved. Space to allow me to walk with my grief and still have room to breathe, keeping everything at arm’s length away.
I now know I needed to claim it for myself. Ask for it. Demand it. Create it. No one’s gonna do it for me. I’m still trying.
That’s probably how I ended up homeless. Trying to get some space. It was “year zero”, about 9 months in. I had cleared out our place, threw stuff, stored stuff, packed up my van and spent 8 months homeless. Technically it’s called house-sitting or pet-sitting but let’s be honest with each other here.
No fixed address. Working, kind of. Widowed. Training with my team one month on/one month off. Craving something, anything to fill the chasm he left and silence the deafening noise of the grief. I could have chosen other solutions. In the blur, I chose my van and other people’s homes for escape.
Far out, I must have been totally batshit crazy with grief. I see it now.
And my friends and family, the really good ones, stood by me all the way. No judgement. Just love and support. I’m so frickin lucky to have them.
How exposing it feels, to look back at ourselves, our choices, with new clarity and perspective. To see ourselves as maybe others saw us in the moment, now in reflection…. It looks like a different person.
Not me. No, sir!
I did some really stupid shit. At times I fully wished that I’d gone with him. At least we’d be together. But, I’m here. I’m sometimes proud of how I stuck with it all. Life. It sure would have been nice to have some perspective in real time.
As Michael and I used to say to each other, “lucky, lucky, lucky”.