Yet another entry on grief
A few weeks after my husband died, a friend of mine lost her husband. Now, she's always had the kind of emotional calmness and social grace I've envied, but I know that her loss was just as hard if not harder to handle than my own. Her strength and poise helped me more than she knows.
No matter how I've tried to create a publicly acceptable facade, my real emotions stay close to the surface. If they get too close to breaking the public barrier, I go hermit to build up my protective shell. If I can't go hermit, I'll do or say something flaky that makes acquaintances go "hmmmm" and my friends say, "Uh, Cyn, how about a drink?" I'd love to be cool, but I know by now, it just ain't gonna happen.
I saw my friend for the first time in a couple of months and found out that she's dating. Whoa. Dating. It stunned me. That's a transition from thinking of yourself as a widow to being a single woman. Now, I think it's wonderful that she's out there again. I'm proud of her. I know that I'm not ready. Right now, I don't know if I'll ever be ready. I feel so old, and the idea of dating makes every body issue I've ever had spring to its feet and get into warrior stance. Just that I can think of my body in the context of being with another man though lets me know it might happen for me one day, but it still feels too strange.
Heck, I haven't even bought a headstone for R.'s grave yet. (That's been a nearly indescribably strange process.) I haven't put a period at the end of this particular sentence yet. I know I've come a long way. A lot of the mourning I've done has been about what's happened to my life, not just mourning the loss of my husband. (And that makes me feel really petty and selfish.)
One of the lessons I learned with my dieting journey has been not to put a defined timeline on big life changes. I intellectually know that I need to apply that to this change as well, but I still feel that I ought to be further along in the process. My depressive tendencies still want to suck me under, and I'm always going to have to watch that regardless of what's happening in my life. That's part of my desire to move forward faster. If I'm farther along, the backward slides won't be so devastating.
I tend to get hung up on the how-to's of making changes, and despite my wish for clear cut instructions, there aren't any out there. I no longer feel like I'm flailing, doing anything just to be doing something, but I'm definitely not clear on what I should be doing. I tend to focus on one little goal at a time but feel like I'm letting many important things drop in the process. This entry may sound self-pitying and sad, but those aren't my real feelings. I'm more in cool analytical mode, observing without unnecessarily cruel judgment. I cannot force myself to move forward before I'm really ready. I can exercise good manners and kindness to both myself and others. I can also acknowledge that things are different from what they were a few months ago, and while, I still don't really like it, I am handling it. Different though it may be, the transitions I've made still not quite recognized, I'm just still going through it.