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Widowed Village connects peers with each other for friendship and sharing. The moderators, administrators, and others involved in running this site are not professionals.

Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Tomorrow I leave on a short business trip (4 days) to New York. I will take Collin with me and drop him at my parents house in Poughkeepsie so he can have some Grandparent time. I fully expect to get him back spoiled thoroughly.

My company has been amazing...they have sent flowers from around the world, cards, letters, DVDs, food for our kitties and for us, and even offered to move this meeting to Chicago if it would be easier for me to attend. My boss named a star for my husband, so Collin and I can look up in the heavens and wish "dad" good morning and good night. When I was thankful, work colleagues just laughed at me and said, "Don't you realize how beloved you are here?" I guess I didn't. I have been so grateful for the warmth, the flexibility to do what is a very demanding job. No one expects me to be back at full strength and I have told them that I will be grieving his loss for a year. Somehow I have been managing to keep going and meet all of my commitments.

Work has been a positive place to fall into even though my heart is not there. I am not sure where it is these days. I am going through the motions, trying to get things done, with grit and determination, but missing the passion I had for my profession. Tomorrow Collin and I fly together and on Monday I'm off to the corporate offices in Westchester County. The meeting is important-the project I am championing on in my division is about to "go global" and be adopted all over the company. I deeply appreciate the opportunity to be the subject matter expert (sme) on this but I just don't know if I can do this long-term. I am in my grief journey and am not sure I will emerge the same person I was before.

I had no idea that grief could steal as much of my zest for life as it has. Someone told me a few weeks ago that grief is the price of love, and the depth of this grief is not surprising, considering how much I loved John. It is the other things that were surprises-the waves of disorientation, the loss of memory, the physical effects.

I have promised myself, "no changes for a year" except those that will support those things that John would have wanted-for me to be happy, healthy, and at peace. I have decided to focus on getting healthy as a goal. I am almost through the bronchitis that came on after our 17th anniversary. Getting well is priority #1. Getting healthy is priority #2.

So, this week I went to see a trainer and put together a plan to help me get back to "fighting strength" in tandem with the physical therapy from my knee surgeries and set my weight loss goal. I saw a dietician to help me make sense of what to eat to replace the missing vitamins and mineral since my body has been taxed to the limit by two knee surgeries, stress, and overwhelming grief. I have counselor in place for Collin and I to help us cope through this journey. I am doing these things on faith, knowing that I will see the results months away. Truth be told, I am scared to do this on my own. John was my biggest fan and an amazing cheerleader. I am stepping out in faith, knowing that these thing will help me handle the grief better, to move through it in a healthier way than I have done in the past 11 weeks.

Yes, tomorrow I get on a plane and spend Monday-Thursday with my company. But I also am beginning another journey-one to rebuild me and that is a necessary part of my grief journey. I just wish John were here to see it, though I know he is cheering me on from somewhere else.

Have a good weekend, honey. I hope Heaven is treating you well.

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Comment by Lakelady on July 24, 2014 at 4:31pm
Hi Dianne, thank you. I need to be healthy so I can pass through this stressful time successfully, but I thought about your words en route to my trip. I was kind to myself, declined invitations to meetings and evening events I wasn't up to attending and tried to enjoy the ones I was at, but pulled back and left early. Out hotel was very peaceful and I needed that peace right now.

I let people lift me and when I needed to leave the meeting for some privacy, I did. But (as always) you raise critical points-it is easy to neglect the important for what is "urgent" right now. Thank you, thank you, thank you for reminding me to be kind...to myself
Comment by Dianne in Nevada on July 20, 2014 at 8:45am

Oh Lakelady - you've placed an awful lot of pressure on yourself so early in your grief journey. Please be kind to yourself. Give yourself the gift of time to just BE ... no expectations, no deadlines, no specific personal goals to meet. Your job sounds pressure-filled, even though you are so blessed to have such a supportive work community, and it probably requires that you be "on". I get that and returning to my job where I had to behave 'normally' actually was rather helpful to me.  But when you're not on the job, be sure to take some time to breathe, to find something peaceful and calming and fulfilling - whatever that might be.  I took an online Brave Girls Club class and worked through some life lessons using paint and scissors and modpodge.

Striving to be healthy is good, but it can be really hard to focus on that during the early days and months. If you're able to - fantastic! But don't beat yourself up if you're not able to make that a priority just now. It will come.

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