Written 1 year, 8 months, 13 days post lost.
If I’m being completely honest, I’ve hidden from my grief for months now. But here is the thing about grief: it always finds you. Many told me year two would be harder. The fog would lift. The shock would fade. And I’d be left to stand in the ruins. Earlier in the Spring, I didn’t buy into this. I felt stronger. I spoke in front of many about who Jake was. I traveled across the country to honor him nationally. I sat face to face with his killer and told him exactly what was in my heart.
But fairytales and unicorns don’t exist. I threw myself into trying to find my new normal. All without honoring my grief. I became afraid of my vulnerability in showing up authentically about what I was feeling. And in that I became so angry.
Angry that I didn’t feel better.
Angry that my circle became smaller.
Angry that I felt alone.
Angry that my five year old is able to process more now and worries about losing me.
Angry with my emotions, my tough days, my flashbacks, my nightmares, my fading memories, organizations that promised to help but instead hurt me, and most of all, angry about time that continued to march forward whether I wanted it to or not.
I was angry because day after day, I put my gloves on to stand in the arena of life and fight, and if I’m being real, I never considered I’d still be in the arena so long. I imagined a place of relief after some time, one filled with fairytales and unicorns where it all became easier. After 1 year, 8 months, and 13 days, I am exhausted.
I feel as if I am living with an imposter in my body that exists alongside myself. A sad, angry, broken soul that never leaves and exists within me everyday regardless of the joy I feel. The happy and joyous times I have such as a surprise party, Linc’s birthday, times I am so proud of the boys, relaxing weekends in our beautiful home with the family we’ve built, trips away from home, and in the new normal we have found.
I have ignored this imposter called grief. Stuffed her down, silenced her. But she is still there and I must recognize that she is a very important part of me. I have to acknowledge and accept the duality of my life. One filled with joy and grief at the same time.
The most frustrating thing is that I have to accept this on my own. And realize many of you won’t understand it. Many times I just want to be understood and validated. But in order for that to happen you would have to experience losing someone suddenly and violently, the way I did. Someone you knew for half of your life. Someone you spent your entire adult life with. The person who made the sun rise and set in your life. A husband, partner in life, best friend, the center of my adult life where I found stability and unconditional love that eased anything we ever faced together.
So today, I’ll stand in the arena again. I’ll do so allowing both parts of me to shine. And I’ll do so knowing that its okay if I am misunderstood while doing it.