Last week I received a spam comment on a post from a year ago. The post was entitled, "It hurts."
I clicked over and read the post, feeling the entire time as though I was reading a strangers blog. "This poor woman. This poor poor woman." That's all I could think.
It is exactly a year later and time has lived up to its promise to heal.
I still have a ways to go. It still hurts. I still have plenty of raw spots.
But I am healing.
I have good weeks and bad days, that's par for the course. But I feel stronger. My personality has returned. I'm goofy, more confident and I'm able to laugh again. I'm so thankful for that, for the most part because I believe that's what Ryan wants for me.
Yesterday was Ryan's birthday, and as expected I felt the familiar feelings of malaise wash over me. Before, that feeling would have sent me into a tailspin of lonely depression...but this time was different. Probably because time has shown me that tomorrow, or soon, I'll feel better. For lack of a better sentiment, I believe I'm able to embrace my grief now.
It's more of a friend than the enemy it was a year ago. When it circles around I can sit with it, and visit. Reminisce. Embrace the loss and the complicated feelings enveloped within the grief.
When it begins to move further away, I cope by not thinking about it too hard. Or too much. Because the fact remains, if I really think about Ryan...if I think about missing him and about his hugs and the love we had, I fall apart. So I've conditioned myself to smile at his picture, and talk as casually as possible and as much as possible about him to the boys.
Of course, there is a lot of guilt that goes along with that. But I've had many talks with Ryan and he knows that is the way it has to be. As much as I want to obsess about his absence, those feelings just aren't compatible with a life that is worth living.
So I adore instead of obsess.
Lean on those memories rather than submersing myself in them.
I don't keep the pain with me anymore, but I do keep it within arms reach. Just in case I need to feel it all to remind myself of my humanity.
It's all a process, and I try to be as gentle with myself as possible.
Though through all of this, one thing has remained the same: My knowledge that everything is going to be okay.
Somehow I've been able to keep the faith that it will.
And right now, my faith is the fuel that get's me up off the bed, off the couch, even out of the car. It lets me dance. It lets me laugh. It allows me to live.
I took my life and everything I had for granted for so many years.
I will live my best life...my happiest life. Because regret is rocky bed to lay in.
And we all know, I need my sleep.
Yes, a year later I am better. And a year from now I have hope that I'll be even better than today.
Do your work, Father Time.
You do your work, and I'll do mine.