Friday, December 7, 2012

Why I'm going to be okay.

In the past couple months I've cried harder, loved harder, laughed harder and thought harder than I ever have in my life.  I admit...I'm not completely stable.  And I hate seeing myself so fragile and needy.  It just isn't me.
I'm strong dammit.
It's a carnival of emotions and I'm jumping from ride to ride.  I'm up and down.  I'm going around and around.   I feel like the freak show and everyone is willing to give up their quarters to see me.
But I was blessed with the realization today that all of that is okay.
My sister called.  I admit, I don't like taking advice from her, or anyone else in my family.  I'm the strong one, I follow my own path, and I've always figured they just need to let me find my own way.  But like I said, today she called, and at the tail end of our conversation she reminded me that she used to work for Hospice.
"Your last blog post just reminded me that you are on the path you are supposed to be on.  You were going through denial...and that is ok.  The stages of grief are set in stone.  No one can escape them...not even someone as capable as you."
Tonight I looked up those stages.
All the rides I've been jumping on and off of the past couple months.  I began to feel uncomfortable...psychotic even.  Shouldn't each stage be taken in large chunks of time?  One at a time?  What the hell am I doing?
And then I read this:  "People often think of the stages lasting weeks or months.  They forget that the stages are responses to feelings that can last for minutes or hours as we flip in and out of one and then another.  We do not enter and leave each individual stage in a linear fashion.  We may feel one, then another and back again to the first one."
I'm not a freak show after all.
When I'm doesn't last for days, and most of the time it doesn't even last for hours.  I got a lot of worried messages from friends after my last blog post.  Truth is, I wrote that in quiet moment when I was alone and it was pouring rain outside.  The Christmas tree sat mocking me in the other room, and I was looking at the seat on the couch where Ryan always sat.  A moment.  A stage.  And then I picked up the boys and I felt better again.
Despite all of the rides that I am negotiating, I have the deepest feeling that everything will eventually be okay.  Like really Okay.  It is a surreal feeling, but one that resonates so deeply inside me I can't turn my back on it.
Sure...I get sad.  But I still get out of bed, and I find joy in the little things.
Sure...I have my moments of denial.  But the light in my boys eyes is enough reality to bring me back to where I need to be.
Sure...I get angry.  But it is always short lived, because I know that my needs are known and that Ryan is Okay and happy where he is.
             Sure...I try to bargain it all away.  The if onlys and what could I have done differently eat at me some days.  But looking back I know I can't change what has happened.  I see how God took care of us along the way and I can't deny that things happened the way that they needed to.
Sure...I get depressed.  But it is what it is.  I'm not always that way.  Luckily I have friends and family that love me.  It doesn't take much to make me appreciate what I have.
I think the biggest indicator that tells me I'm going to be okay is that I have hope.  I believe in a happy future for my family. 
I believe that I will get to that last stage:  Acceptance.
Which doesn't mean I'll be okay that Ryan is gone.  It means I'll be okay with my new reality, and find a way to make it our normal.
Pfft.  Whatever that is.
All I know is I'm not a freak, (how many times have I written that already,) and tonight that brings me all kinds of relief. 
Driving in the country this evening I was able to clear my head.  I'm going to try to accept this stages-of-grief-Pong-game I'm playing.  I'm going to accept that I'm a bit of a mess and not be upset with myself about it.  I've always been the one that has her stuff together.  Maybe it's ok to be the one that needs a little TLC.  Maybe it's okay to let others see that I'm hurting.  Maybe I need to have a little sympathy for myself.
I'll accept the chaotic carnival of emotions knowing that one day I'll come out on the other side, stronger?  Or at this rate even freaking She-Ra-esque?
I'm going to be okay.  We are all going to be okay.  I know it.
And really, isn't that half the battle already won?  I know the end of the story.
A friend sent me a message saying there is only one way through grief...through it.
If that's true, let's do this thing.
Eventually my pockets will run out of the carnival tickets and I'll have to find my home.
My new home.   
It's out there somewhere.  Which statement, if I remember right, signifies hope.


  1. Of course you will be ok in time! THAT is what true strength is, overcoming in the LONG ROAD despite your struggles.

    Its only been weeks since you lost the love of your life, Father of your children...the stages of grief take years to work through, and just like Diabetes you will never be without a range of emotions some days. Crying doesnt mean you are weak, it means a part of your heart is missing! Broken. In despair. Being angry, scared, worried, an emotional mess....That isnt being weak. Weak is giving up and surrendering. We all know Meri doesnt do that. You ALWAYS get back up. ALWAYS.

    I know that you know all this, but Im reminding you! Be kind to yourself! Im sure Ryan wouldn't want to see you beating yourself up. ((HUGS))I wish we could jump past Xmas, for it is this time of year that is SO hard for those of us who have lost a love of our lives. :( You got this Meri. Maybe not today, tomorrow or even next year...just keep driving that path to tomorrow. Somtimes thats all we can do.

  2. Your inner strength is coming through loud and clear here. You're still the strong one. You're still following your own path. Your range of emotions is healthy, as you're working through what you need to work through. You're no freak show; you’re Marvelous Meri!!! Love you, my dear friend!!!

  3. Oh Meri~ I have been away from the blogging world way too long... My heart is breaking for you and all you're going through right now. I know it doesn't help, but I am so sorry!! I will be praying for you and your handsome boys. Just remember--you are strong because of your boys. You can do this!

  4. Meri,
    I have never lost a husband, but I have lost a young child. It was many years ago, but I can remember the detail as if it was this morning. During the viewing,(I dislike the word viewing because it sounds like I put my dead child on display) an older friend came to talk to me. I kept asking "why me, why him, why us? She had an answer for me. At the time I thought she was being mean with her words. As time has marched forward I realized what she had said was true. These are her words exactly as she said them:

    “Why not you? Are you so special that bad things can’t happen to you? Well, I am here to tell you that you are not that special. You are just a person, and bad things happen to people.” Wow! Be quiet Lady! Then she said, “You will know you are making progress through the bog of grief when you realize that you missed a minute thinking about him. Then you will realize that you went 5 minutes, then 10, and finally an hour . Then you will fall back to 1 minute again, then 10, maybe 30 and back to 1. However, as you move back and forth between time, you will understand that you are living.”

    At the time, there was no such thing as the Stages of Grief, or at least I had never heard of them. In fact, grief was pretty much ignored by everybody. Even our family tried to ignore it. A person just endured. This may sound cruel, but really no one knew what to do with a grieving person, so everyone just pretended that you were not grieving. I followed the act too. I just put on an acceptable face and went on.

    As time passed I understood that everything this lady had said was true. I was not special, nor was my family. We just got caught up with a terrible thing. I will never forget the day when I realized that his death was not front and center of my mind for every minute. It was then that I realized,….I am going to survive. It was very much like your post of today. You will flip flop through the stages of grief. It is normal. As you are flopping, one day you will say to yourself, I survived the unsurvivable! Wow!


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