(The second article in a five-part series – What made the difference? Mia and me.)
Mia* (fictional name) wrote back, stating they, she and her mother, had come to the conclusion that their journey with grief was “without a goal”. What an interesting and wonderful way of expressing the aimlessness that abides in grief. I shared in their happiness in realizing that life is about purposeful choices; indeed, there came a time in my journey when I made the choice to take that first step, including Bill in all and learning to deal with the lack of his physical presence. I walked the path deliberately, conscious of the need to make choices along the way that gave direction and created opportunities – opportunities to infuse myself, the new me, in life.
Mia responded asking if there was a time when I felt my old self again.
I wrote ….
I remember thinking that there is much of what I once had that I desperately wanted back. Most of all, I wanted the pain to end and find the ability to handle the simple things in life; in short, I wanted my old, confident, self back. I realized that I would never have the same “happiness” I once enjoyed, because Bill is no longer with me. How can I ever live a life with happiness interrupted?
Searching back in my archives, I came across a posting in my blog that describes this timid person, sneaking up on the dryer vent and reaching in to find a ball of lint blocking the air from circulating (March 14 – Something Wonderful This Way Comes). I stated, “… it was monumental, in that given a moment of stepping out of despair, I was able to think it through logically …” I also remembered that I was “happy” in that moment. Part of the “old” self, the confident person, recognized that there was a choice. I knew that Bill would have taken the same steps to solve the mystery then would have shared his actions with me. In short, I was building on the wisdom that he so freely shared instead of sitting back and saying he used do this for me. Who will do it for me now? It was a first step … a baby step.
There are more things to fix, more decisions to make and new people to meet. I recognized and accepted that “my old self” could never return because that person had Bill, physically, with her. I recognized and accepted that I am now different, made stronger for knowing Bill, made stronger for re-membering him into my life and made stronger for what he added, and continues to add, to my life.