Moving Forward

Forgive me, because this is a sad post, but I have to say it in order for me to move on with my life. I feel like I need to explain my absence from this blog.

For the first three years after Terry died I felt loss and sadness. I thought I was doing great, slowly coming to terms with his death. And then one day it hit me, I started crying. And I cried. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I had to; I hadn’t fully grieved. I had buried my feelings so far down that I wouldn’t let them come up. And one day they started appearing. I think right before my last post on here was when I had that realization.

I had no desire to write anything, anywhere. That is the first sign for me that I can’t deal with my emotions, so I just quit trying and shutdown. I have written in a journal for years and years, but I have gaps where I have nothing written down, such as: when my mother died. It took me three years to write again. When Terry got sick and had his heart transplant I wrote nothing of the event. When my dad died, it took me a couple of months to even write that he had died. When Terry died, I tried very hard to stay present. To remember every moment of every day and to be in the here and now. I was really proud of myself, continuing to write; I really thought I was doing great.

I stopped writing this blog in June of 2016 and then within two months I also stopped writing in my personal blog/journal. I would try to write something but it would be so sad or depressing that I would delete it. Finally I just quit.

What the hell!!! I tried my damnest to stop my feelings. I tried to avoid them by working like crazy. I tried avoidance by pretending. But at night I would cry myself to sleep and sometimes in the middle of the night I would wake up and cry and sometimes I would cry and not even wake up. The only reason I knew I had cried in the night was because I had dried tears on my cheeks (typically streaks into my ears!). My alarm would go off in the morning and I would be crying in my sleep. It was crazy.

I couldn’t talk about Terry without crying. I would apologize to whoever when I started to cry, but I couldn’t stop it. I had started to have gut wrenching sobs that I couldn’t control. I would be watching T.V. and suddenly it would hit me with such force that I was down on my knees wailing. The intensity shocked me.

Somehow my mind or body or God or something knew it was time for me to get those feelings out. Simply amazing to me. I apparently wasn’t mentally strong enough to deal with my feeling before. Then I had to put my dog Lucy down this past summer. I cried for days and I had this overwhelming guilt. I honestly didn’t think it was her time and I felt like I had killed her.

Terry’s five-year anniversary of his death came and went. I was so grateful that it was over with. It was actually a relief. I had wished for my heart to be healed and the following month I realized that it was.  I also realized that Lucy had some issues that were going to continue to get worse with time and for her sake and mine, I did what was right, and I have finally reconciled my feeling of guilt and that she was dying but that I just wasn’t ready to let go.

This Christmas was by far the most wonderful Christmas I have ever had. I missed Terry, but I accept that he was a sick man and had to die. I realized that my life is pretty special and that I have the most amazing family and friends.

The only reason I am really telling you this is because people don’t talk about how intense and uncontrollable grief can be. We try to pretend that it doesn’t happen. That after the first year we are magically healed, and we should move on. For some people they do and can and God Bless them. They dealt with their feelings. I however did not. And I was really embarrassed to say that I was crying more and feeling worse than I had in the previous three years.

Grief is a very solitary emotion that is impossible to share or explain to others. You can go to grief counseling and they can give you tools to help you to deal, but they can’t help you feel those emotions. I went right after Terry died and I believe they did help me get through that first year and I probably should have gone back this past year and a half to get some help, but I didn’t.

I do believe that I am finally through this, although I understand that there will be moments and potentially days that I will again feel grief; I am OK with that. I know that now it won’t be unbearable. And I won’t wish for the day to feel normal again, like I did on so many occasions. Because finally after 5 years and two months, I have turned that corner and I am so very grateful. I will survive.

Side note: I realized that today is January 1, 2018. I did not intend for this to be my first post like it was a New Years Resolution, but how fitting that it IS my first post.

I wish for each of you Happiness in the coming year. Happy New Year!

2 Comments

Filed under Awareness

2 responses to “Moving Forward

  1. Cindy White

    You are the strongest person I know – sending you love…

  2. Nancy Geiger

    Julie, it breaks my heart to know what you have gone through, but I know that each person has to deal with grief in their own way and in their own time. I’m grateful and glad that you have stepped through that door. Love you so much…

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