A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
I have come to realize in this grief journey, that we all have our skeletons in our closets. I have also come to find out that these skeletons may, for some, come bursting out because of the tragedies we have suffered. The great losses we have experienced. Almost like someone left the door open so anything and everything inside us can wander out at will. At least that seems to be what’s happening inside of me. When the door cracked open and these skeletons first started appearing I was mortified. I thought I had quite nicely tied them all up in a box with a neat little bow and stuffed them way down, never to surface again. I figured I had dealt with things in my own way quite efficiently, thank you very much. Closed. Locked. Throw away the key. Nope.
Throughout my grief journey thus far, I have become a bubbling volcano. I don’t think I’m ever going to fully explode to the likes of Mt. Saint Helens. Rather, I think I’m just going to remain active for a little while, spewing out this hot molten stuff that no one wants to touch. Heck, I never wanted to touch it so why would anyone else? Except here’s the thing, spewed out molten lava eventually cools, whereas if it is kept inside it will continue to boil, heat and fester. Well, at least that’s my thought process.
So I find myself spewing and dealing with it. At first, after my husband died, I quickly did everything I could to make sure he was safe in death, just as I did when he was alive. I didn’t much tell anyone we had fought the day before, or that our marriage wasn’t all flowers and romance. I stupidly thought that no one would actually believe I loved him with all my heart even though at times, we struggled. It’s hard to explain to someone who has not dealt with the disease of addiction how you can truly truly love that person, but hate his or her disease. You are judged for loving the addict, there are whispers, gossip, disdain. You grow a thick skin and you learn to shove everything down and don’t tell anyone. You deal with it at home, but in the public eye you are that normal married couple. Even in death you are judged. Told addiction isn’t a disease, told that they did it to themselves, and worse. It is an erroneous belief to say the addict does not suffer. I lived with someone who suffered for 16 years. I loved someone who suffered for 16 years. My heart broke and was broken. But I loved him, because that’s what I do, I latch on and love. Sometimes I would look in his eyes and see pure, raw emotional pain. Sometimes my own eyes mirrored that pain dealing with the ramifications of living with him. I realize I do have to deal with what that addict did to me. Those residual effects. In order to heal and grow I need to face those times when life wasn’t coming up roses. I need to admit that my prince charming was never going to rescue me and even harder, I need to admit that I could never rescue him.
It has been softly suggested that in order to come out the other side of this sadness and resentment of those times in my life, that I have to deal with them, come to terms with them, admit that they happened, admit they were wrong and yes, forgive. Then, I hope, the love and beautiful memories will surface once more. No, I will not put him back up on a pedestal, I will see him for the troubled, beautiful soul he was. The man, however hard at times that it was, I loved with all my heart and now the man, however hard at times it is, I will grieve with all my heart. Then I will lock up that corner of my heart again knowing that I have done the best I can in order to move forward with life. To live again, to love again, to trust again.