Since the Grief and Growing weekend in August, I've felt like I've turned another significant corner in my grieving. I feel done with active grieving, and my life feels normal again. I don't automatically cringe when seeing a happy family together, or feel the urge to share my story with new acquaintances. I am more sensitive to how that story makes others feel, and I just don't need to be heard so much anymore. Sure, my life is not what I want it to be, but it is what it is, and I'm comfortable in it. There are many positive things about it, including being able to make my own decisions, having quiet evenings to do my own thing, and being able to develop a really strong and secure bond with B. Of course, it's lonely, and I don't want to be in this situation forever. B has taken to asking "Why are we all alone?" and I think it comes from a need to hear me say again "because Daddy died".
Our anniversary was on September 21, and I just so happened to be having dinner with T's sister, father and father's wife that night. We toasted to the event, ruefully and with a smile. A few weeks later I set aside an evening and pulled out the wedding album and video, and reminisced about that happiest day of my life in 2002. Interestingly, I also was reminded of one or two things I didn't like about the wedding -- how T frowned and gestured to me as I came down the isle (OK, so the bouquet was bouncing somewhat dramatically), how I forgot to get a photo of our hands together in our wedding rings (I loved T's hands and have no real pictures of them). How our life together wasn't always what I had wanted or hoped it would be. But it was what it was, and I still sometimes miss him so much it aches.
So if my active grieving is complete, what's next? Well, the work issue has really come to a head. I have such a hard time going to work, focusing on work, caring about anything I do. The only thing that motivates me is helping others, not letting others down. My boss's requests keep me productive, otherwise I would just drift away and forget all my commitments. What am I going to do?
I've engaged a life coach to help me through this crisis. It's painful and difficult to live in the moment, but exciting and energizing to visualize doing something with my time that matters to the world and brings me joy. And I know it's out there -- I just have to do the work to find it.