Yesterday marked exactly six months to the day that my husband suddenly passed from a brain aneurysm.  I had to stop in my tracks yesterday to think about that.  A half of a year has gone by without him.  Wow.  Six months.  I’ve survived a half of a year without him.  A half of a year of firsts, many tears, and many conversations, smiles and love about the memories he left behind.

My grief has taken on many faces during the past six months.  I’m not really sure how to describe my current state.  I am just here.  Alive and breathing.  But I am alive and breathing in such a different way than how I existed six months ago.

I had always been a worrier.  I wouldn’t say I had severe anxiety, but I always worried about the outcome of situations for fear that they would affect me or one of my family members in a negative way.  I know you can relate.  Close your eyes and think about all of those times when you tried to get a hold of a loved one and they either didn’t pick up their phone, return a text or went hours without telling you where they were.  The sick feeling you had in your belly thinking the worst; were they in an accident?  Did they have a heart attack and are face down somewhere?  Were they kidnapped and thrown into a trunk by a serial murderer?  Would I have to see my children on a milk carton in every major grocery store because they didn’t call me right when they arrived at their friends’ house because they walked two blocks alone?  What if my kids don’t go to a 4-year University right out of high school?  What if they don’t participate in any extra-curricular activities?  What if they sit on the bench when they play a high school sport?  Call it neurotic, call it a touch of crazy, call it whatever you want; it was just the way I was wired and it’s the way my mind spun in circles when I worried.

We all hear about it happening to other people but we never think it would happen to us.  The day my husband died my panic set in because I didn’t hear from him.  I got the call nobody ever wants to receive and there was absolutely nothing I could do to change the outcome.  I was devastated and I felt like I was spiraling into a life of unknowns.  It was the most surreal experience I have ever endured and still is.

But through all of the heartache and devastation I received a gift that has allowed me to get up in the morning and know that everything will be alright.  I received the gift of acceptance.  As I faced each day without my husband, I realized that acceptance brought strength and worrying brought weakness.  I didn’t have room for any weakness as it was the strength that was getting me through each second of the day for the past six months.  It’s like a black cloud was lifted from my entire being and for the first time in my life I wasn’t worrying anymore about things I couldn’t control.  This gift keeps on giving because it’s brought so much clarity to my life and so much emotional freedom.  It’s amazing to me how much good can come out of so much devastation if you just allow acceptance into your life.

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This gift came at a perfect time for me because my twin boys just passed their driver’s tests.  I have two of the most important people in my life behind the wheels of two different cars.  Every time they leave the house I think about what could happen.  But then I think about my gift of acceptance and I smile knowing that it’s written when we come into this world and it’s written when we go out.  Acceptance now gives me a newfound appreciation of what I have as opposed to what I don’t.  What an amazing gift.

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