Who Am I? Discovery after loss.
This is a bit long, so pull up a chair and get comfy.
So many blogs I start and then I stop and can’t finish. So many tasks I can’t seem to keep up with. 3 teens that need me, looking for guidance when sometimes I question if I really know all the answers. I learn grief is just an up and down learning cycle. Grief is rebuilding a life, one day and one step at a time. Who knew? Learning about myself, life and the world that continues to spin all through the process. A beautiful song ( a fellow friend/widow shared) touched me. Seems to capture so much of where my heart is. Ready to move on, but still wishing for what was. My heart wasn’t ready for sudden loss. Writing helps me to see the beauty and joy that has transpired since that day. It’s slow as molasses…but it’s worth documenting the in between, as opposed to being stuck on the sad part.
No matter what life is going to move forward. I put my best foot out each day, praying for the right path to find me. Then just as i realize I am trying to create a path for myself, I am knocked off the path to realize my kids have needs and some come out of no where. More than enough is on my plate….from college planning to my teenagers gaining independence and getting people places and taken care of with love. Learning to let go a little more than I am comfortable with. And feel some guilt for asking my kids to take o more than they should at their age. It’s part of the process, raising my teenagers to become independent humans in this crazy world. Life continues to go on. The weight can get heavy. But, I have to find myself in the process. Embracing all the in between. Self acceptance and loving myself more than I can. I never took the time before to do this. It’s a challenge for me. But, I am trying. I seem to find myself loving and putting my kids center of all…but in the middle there is still me. I am finding “her”. Because before “her” was “us” and “us” is clearly gone. Along with all those plans that we had for our future.
So, I go on…on down this journey. There is no easy way to do it. Other than one step in front of the other. No matter what your loss is. Picking yourself up, moving the feet, and breathing…the feeeling of “alive” will come over me…and I’m able to move forward a little more. It seems easy to get stuck and sad when things become still and feeling without purpose.
Yoga has been the constant for me over the past almost 23 months post loss. More on part 2 coming soon…but this is just one little glimpse of why I turn to Yoga. It allows me to find perspective, self acceptance and love for who I am….and tremendous mental and physical strength. I am more than just a girl…or a “widow”. I am a something special…I have pieces of me to share. I hope to inspire you reading this to seek your fire to set you out moving. If through complete loss, I personally can get back up….so can you. Through movement strength is discovered. Not always easy….but can be done.
Teaching Yoga is a new journey, and I am so excited to share this part of my heart with people. Real people. I’m excited every time I walk into a new classroom to “sub” and see those bright little faces. That don’t know me from the man in the moon…but their innocence and worries are so light. That it reminds me, I have something special to share with others. And it really helps me put my grief in check. As surrounding myself around a bunch of 5-10 year olds during the day is a ray of light compared to loss. It gives me joy and hope and I am excited to continue to share this part of me as I journey along.
It is always easier said than done…but the goal is to keep stepping. Keep finding reasons to live. Find purpose and surround myself with those that appreciate the gifts I do have to share.
I had the day off and was “trying” to gather all for taxes. What a chore…one that Eric handled very well, organized, never looked over one detail and handed over to our CPA. I should be glad I” get to” do my taxes…right? I mean…I’m alive! But, instead it just upsets me and reminds me my tax keeper is missing. I am just a hot mess with all this stuff. With the move things are so displaced. And of course my system of book keeping is certainly opposite of Eric’s. And so I turn to writing to sort my thoughts out. I’m definately not a CPA…or anything close to that. I am not Eric. I am not even really a “Wife” anymore….I’m a “Widow”. It’s days like this or weekends when I’m alone and everyone has plans that I question why I am still here. Today (last week) is one of them. Last week Kailie’s First real Spring Show performance…and then last Friday night was Lexie’s senior softball presentation night….all without Eric. Pile a sad boy on top of that and an overwhelmed Mom with tax struggles…and I come full circle. Perspective…purpose….hope?
Post loss I have been given a couple of choices. And the one choice, seems to be the only logical one to chooose…which is to live my days (without Eric). I recall many days wishing I were not here. But, with 3 kids still here I am reminded quickly the other choice is not an option. I can’t give this life up, no matter how many times I’ve questioned the abrupt ending of my previous life with Eric. People tell me how strong I am, “living on”….I call it survival. Anyone else would do the same all while trying to rediscover the new life ahead.
Year 2 post loss has been harder than the first. It’s like reality in the face every day. The numbness has worn off, the shock…and here now left with questions….many questions….and deep void. I question God. I feel angry towards him. Yes, I admit that. I questions what if I should have? Why? I should have told him to stay home that night when he was really just jet lagged.
Now what? The void he left behind is so wide and vast I can’t even explain it. It’s so painful. Who would have thought? A friend once told me early on, after 6 months you will feel better and move forward. Wow, here I am almost 2 years later and I do not believe I am stuck. Yet, trying so very hard to discover my purpose (in the reality of year 2 post loss) now and with acceptance, it’s a challenge.
I see my life as a journey now….it’s all I can make of it. Trial and error. Carter is quick to call me out “That is not how Dad does it…”. But truth is everything that was is now like “Sailing into the Mystic.” Not sure if this was Van Morrison’s analogy to life in his song “Into the Mystic” – but I find similarities as I reflect on my own.
Soul searching has become a bittersweet love affair. As it has been painful to accept some of the answers and things I discover. And I admit I am still searching…everyday. I have to discover and find purpose in this life without Eric. But, why? Eric completed me, he completed our circle. In every way. And my life with him went on for more than half my life on this earth. That’s a long time! So, to wake up without him, and all these things constantly happening without him to be present…it’s pain to the heart.
I’ve discovered many of these questions I have will not get answered over night. Or maybe ever? Most are just trial and error…figuring stuff out. And at the end of the day I’m really only left with me….so that’s the question. Who am I now without Eric, without all our dreams and plans….our complete family? Under all my skin, bones, blood and organs deep inside my beating heart…there is a beautiful girl, a woman….she’s always been there. But she has to tap into that part of the soul to answer the hardest question moving forward. I’m building a new life…carrying part of the memories from my life with Eric in a positive way and especially for my children. I’m hopeful for opportunities that lead me right where I need to be.
What I have discovered after great loss is through soul-searching. Realizing tomorrow doesn’t matter…it’s not even here yet. I’ve worried that one until the cows come home. yesterday, well it doesn’t matter either…it’s already passed. What does matter is me. I matter! Yes, I matter…I have questioned my existence many days during this journey of life after loss. I’m left a Mom…of our 3 children. And I love them with all I have, they are my fire to living. But, where is the rest? Who am I now without Eric? Part of me or what I thought was me left when Eric left. I have to be filled up in some way to be a someone for my kids to look up to, to follow behind. But, what is that?
Before I was a wife, a best friend, a date, a hand holder, a sound board, a soul mate, a bicycle buddy, the best cook (according to Eric)….and soooo much more….Eric was my balance like a see saw…I needed him today. When he left all those things left me. I was left feeling literally beneath the earth. Rediscovery….finding myself again. Who am I? Step by step I uncover layers of who is inside me. I peel back the layers of the woman underneath before Eric…deep deep inside….there is a lot left, a lot of heart and soul and passion for people.
Well, my living everyday I have dug deep into my soul to discover there is so much there that is still waiting for me to set a fire to. And other things that I never knew existed…becase before I was too busy in this bubble I lived in with Eric.
So who am I? I am not “nothing”…No I am something! It took me a while to get out of my head to listen and search for “Who I am…” This has not been an easy question to gulp back and move forward with. But, with the help and discovery of Yoga I have been able to dig beneath layers of my heart that I didn’t even know existed…or maybe I did before, I just never gave myself the credit. Loss changes how I view myself now.
I’ve discovered (through Yoga and Substitute teaching and raising my kids/dogs)………..I am a kind soul, I have a gentle heart, I am a number one Mom, I am a craftsy and artsy gal, I am a sister, I am a dog lover, a dog Mommy, I am a teacher, I am a goofy person that likes to laugh, I am authentic, I am honest, I am a believer in living on purpose, I am a Yoga Instructor, I am a lover of coffee, soft blankets, warm soft dogs, an animal lover, a lover of tea, I am a best friend, I am a cousin, I am a daughter to the best parents that could have birthed me, I am a volunteer to many, I am determined, I am a rare and unique human on this planet!
Well, that is sure a lot of “Who am I”….I am not nothing. I am stronger, braver and more courageous in life after loss.
Sometimes instead of asking too many questions about the future…I have to remind myself life is in the “now”. And that has to be okay. So, for now. I will find the very best I can in each moment. Even as I sit here in a puddle of tears with taxes that I have no idea what or where…or well who even knows? My poor CPA. The tears will keep coming today….I have to take this time to allow these moments build into something bigger. Who knows what it is. But, I honestly can’t wait for the day I feel a life where I am living on purpose. It’s a daily practice. One day maybe I will be an expert at my taxes.
A follow up on the taxes…my CPA pulled through. I felt my blood begin to flow through my veins again as I postmarked each of our tax returns in the mail yesterday. Yep, one for each of us. A sell of a house, purchase of new house, purchase of 2 new used cars, sell of old car, sell of business equiptment, business, stocks, IRA’s, too many accounts to know what they are all for….marketplace insurance, 2 FFA projects, one child owing self employment tax, due to said “goat project”. And one getting a return because she worked and paid in too much. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to address and mail those 4 seperate taxe forms. What a relief and another box to check, I did it. Yep, I did those taxes and with the help of my CPA. Thank goodness for people with math skills. My blood is flowing freely now.
Still, I know that is not the reason I am living….I am living for more than checking a box and completing my taxes on time. That is not what life is about. I am living to share my heart with those who need it. Sometimes, life just gets cloudy and it’s hard to see past all the dust.
I pray for God to lead me to my purpose. I pray for a classroom of bright eager and curious minds. I pray for my ability to instruct a room full of Yogis into a beautiful svasana. Prayers for purpose….forward movement and the ability to keep my kids above water through it all. I pray for my kids to see a brave Mom that never gave up, even when all seemed to be going the other way. And even able to laugh when we should probably all be crying…humour is food for the soul. I want my kids to remember that.
Thank you for reading my blog and please comment your own journey.