It’s been awhile since my last blog post and to say I have been busy and overwhelmed would be an understatement. Next month will mark the 1-year anniversary of my husband’s passing, and looking back upon the past 11 months so much has changed since he said goodbye to me for the very last time on the morning of April 29, 2016.
It wasn’t until after the holidays when I was truly able to finally take some time and focus on my own grieving. When he died I was faced with the daunting task of having to sort through what seemed to be a never ending checklist that I had to follow in order to make sure everyone else was taken care of both financially and emotionally. By January my heart was tired and I was ready to focus on taking care of me for a change. During this process I made the very big decision that I was going to pack up the house that we lived in and start fresh in a new place I could call my own with myself and my boys. When my husband died we immediately went from a family of 6 to a family of 3 since my stepchildren lived with their mother full-time. The need for a large house just wasn’t practical anymore so as of tomorrow, the movers are coming and I will be starting fresh in a smaller place that I get to call my own. I even went so far as to sell all of our old furniture and purchase brand new pieces that I felt would help symbolize a new beginning.
I have moved many times in my adult life (8 times to be exact) but this move has proven to be the most difficult one of them all. It’s the first time I’ve had to do this with a tall order of grief handed to me. Downsizing from a 2,600 sq. ft. house to a 1,500 sq. ft. condo has been difficult both physically and emotionally. What do I do with all of the pictures hanging on the wall of myself and my late husband? Would hanging them back up in my new place defeat the purpose of a new beginning? Do I replace them with new photos? I have had to sort through boxes and boxes of paperwork that has his name all over them, conjuring up memories while sorting through everything (old pictures, clothing, old receipts from vacations and dinners we enjoyed together, old ticket stubs of concerts and sporting events that we attended together, the list goes on and on). It was like going for a ride on the melancholy train and never being allowed to get off during the process.
Moving is an emotional process in and of itself, but to mix it in with a grieving heart is a double whammy. I was told that I would go through a phase of anger and resentment and I feel like the past few months have brought that emotion out during the grieving process. I have found myself in tears and cursing at him for leaving me with so much to do (on top of trying to perform at my job and support my children). I am angry at myself for not standing up to people who took advantage of me when I was most vulnerable; I am angry at them for thinking that this type of behavior was okay. But at the end of the day I’m not responsible for their actions but only how I react to them. That is something if you think about it. Not only is it empowering but I have now finally realized I need to use that to my advantage. You see, the people who have been the most irrational are the ones I have to thank because they are EXACTLY who I never want to be nor be around. It has guided me to surround myself with people who have my best interest in mind and who want to see me happy. It has defined how I want to have relationships moving forward and how I DON”T want to treat people. It has taught me to understand the power of love and why people choose to be with one another. It has made me realize what true friendship should look like and how to be a better friend to those who mean the most to me. It has prepared me to tell myself that I actually may be able to love someone again. Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting; to me it’s another definition of what hope looks like and ultimately another form of happiness.
So let’s raise our glass and toast to new beginnings. I am excited for what the future holds because I refuse to look back at what I thought the future would look like. I am excited that I have taken control of my life again and that I get to steer it in the direction that I want. Cheers everybody. To moving on!