When my husband died almost six years ago:
I could not imagine how I could possibly ever be happy again.
I felt like a loser.
I felt extremely unlucky.
I was scared, anxious, worried, sad, confused.
I felt out of place and out-of-sync with others.
I felt desperate to recapture my old life --and this, an impossible task.
I felt alone in the world.
Six years later, I find that grief has FINALLY taken the back seat to living. Here's what it feels like at the beginning of this new phase of life after major loss:
I feel so much more aware of how lucky I am to be alive.
I am far less likely to get aggravated or stressed out about daily living.
I am more appreciative and less critical of my own performance and contributions.
Surprisingly, I have become a more hopeful and positive person, despite my incredible back luck!
I have more faith that I am living my truth -- liking what I like--doing what I am supposed to be doing.
I am more open to the unknown and less attached to control.
Sometimes I still feel alone in the world, but, as when I was a much younger woman, I enjoy my own company.
And, yes, if I am going to reveal all the feelings that surround the idea of "grief fading", there is also some guilt, some sadness, and some concern: guilt that I am still alive and he is not, sadness to move forward into a territory where the loss of my incredible husband no longer dominates my world, and concern for how I can continue to honor him and keep his memory alive.