I have been thinking a lot about the people that I know and life's rhythms. My mom always tells me the "the secret to being miserable is having the time to think about it". With apologies to both my mother and to George Bernard Shaw (his quote), I disagree. Do we really need to make time to dwell? And if we do not think about it, does it really mean we are not miserable? I contend that we need to think about things in order to make changes. I guess part of healing ourselves is to make changes-and unless we do some deep cognitive analysis, there is no potential for change.
That being said, I think about the other widows that I know and the process of grief. I think that the human condition does not allow for process. We focus on the outcome, on the resolution without thinking about how we evolve. Case in point: I know of a widow - who has been at this widow stuff a year longer than I have. I have looked to her as the guide - she after all has been at this longer than I have. She has been through some of the phases that I have witnessed in others. The shocked, disconnected phase, the freedom phase (accompanied by various acts of indulgence followed by guilt), the need to be relentlessly busy phase, and the depressed, need help phase. I assumed that I would move through the phases too in much the same way. She also went through the dating phase, new boyfriend phase, etc. But as I watch her progression, and talk to her now-she has confessed to me that she is in a new phase of loneliness and despair. Her husband died 4 years ago and she still continues to cycle back and forth. Recently she found an old wedding band and put it on, immediately feeling some comfort.
Interesting to consider. Yes, I miss my old life and over the past 2 and 1/2 years my life has taken on some changes that make it difficult to forget my loss. Yes, I live in the same place and hold the same job. But a lot has changed-my relationships with my children and the new blessing-my grandson. As time passes and things look different to me-it is harder to superimpose my old life with the new. I would trade it all in a minute to get him back-but as the months fly by-I realize that I am adjusting to life alone. I do not necessarily like this life, I would not have chosen it - but there it is.
I think of me on the beach-a metaphor since even though I am staying across the street-I have not yet been on the sand. I gingerly put my toe in the water and wait and see how it goes. I can not see behind me-the fog too thick. In a nutshell-this is my life. I look ahead and approach very cautiously. Occasionally I can see the past-mostly just as a faint image, and often without trying to hard to envision some memory. I experiment-not as a scientist anxious for the outcome-but as a novice. I try to analyze my inner thoughts as a way to move forward.
"An unexamined life is not worth living"