Something Awesome This Way Comes!
Grief is different for everyone. But I've discovered something about my grief that feels so huge that I had to share it. I've been so focused on my loss that I've actually been a better human being. When something real, something big happens to you it puts things in perspective. Because of my grief, I'm not allowing the small stuff any real estate. The driver that cuts me off, the long line at the grocery store, the lady that still uses checks. Those things don't matter, they're not real. Why would I take the time to allow them to impact my life? They're not long-term, it's a moment. And while moments matter, it's the accumulation of good ones, not the brief annoying encounters with strangers.
Another good thing I noticed being born out of this momentous negative was a profound compassion for other people's battles with Life Monsters. My path isn't yours, so who am I to judge your path? And then I discovered that I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
My husband's death was the end of his life, not our story, nor does his end sum up our story. I'm so grateful for the years we had together. All of them. In our second year of marriage, we found out Mark had two brain tumors. He had three months of chemo and was announced cancer free with little impact on his physical health. Eight years later, they came back. This time he had four tumors in some bad places, after a year of treatment he was again cancer free, however, this time, he was left blind, with minor brain damage and permanent physical weakness. We should have lost him then, but we didn't, we were given a gift.
With a great deal of dignity and some well-developed British snark, he accepted what happened to him and we adjusted our lifestyle and moved forward. We both learned how to handle his challenges together with a lot of laughter. And I developed some methods so he could still help with housework, not that he was impressed. While I wish with my whole heart this hadn't happened to him, I wouldn't have missed the time we had. It was an accumulation of good moments.
I'm able to say that our story isn't finished because Mark continues to teach me. I've been given the gifts of compassion, tolerance, patience, and gratitude out of my grief. That's not a small thing. I'm starting to focus less and less on his death, and more on his life. He deserves to be honored for the life he led and not remembered for how it ended. Wouldn't he love knowing that he still makes an impact on my life? That our story continues.
Life is a series of choices. I've seen what can happen when you choose gratitude instead of defeat. When you can still look for the joy, instead of giving all the crap more importance. I will continue to find good things to focus on and I just know something even more awesome will come my way because I've decided that it will.