Five years ago, my world was in free fall. Only a few months had passed since Sean's suicide and the business of death filled my every waking moment. My life had been whittled down to a checklist. Get up in the morning. Pay off bills. Take kids to grief counseling. Go to my own grief counselor. Create a will. Tear it up. Choose a guardian. Change my mind. Clean the house. Feed us. Lock self in bathroom so the kids won't see me cry. Repeat.
In between checking off the to-do list, I flayed around and grasped at people as if they were life preservers. Some relationships truly did save my sanity while others threatened to crack the brittle shell that held me together. I craved talking to anyone who would listen because the silence scared the hell out of me. So I talked and talked and talked. And I stayed a flurry of motion with traveling and house projects.
But I could not write. I could not sit still. I ran from the silence.
Five years later, my story is different. Most of those people I clung to are now absent from my life. I appreciate them for being here when I needed them the most and would gladly be there for them in the future; but I no longer need saving. I have learned that there are people--ordinary people who don't wear uniforms--whose purpose is to be a life preserver when someone's life becomes a sinking ship. Once the saving is done, they fade away to find another who needs them more. I call them Earth Angels and have been fortunate enough to also call them friends. In their absence, I am content.
You see, grief is weird and turbulent and doesn't make any sense. It brings out the best and worst in people. I have family members who never stepped up to be there for the kids and me during our time of crisis, not even a phone call to see how we were. And, I must admit, I will remember that. I have a very close family member who recently told me that she never wants me to speak of being a single mom or a widow again--ever. I have seen friendships either strengthen or crumble. But the most important thing that has come from this journey is that I have embraced my life as is. The journey brought out the best in me.
Where once I sought to fill the void left by Sean's death with false friends who truly don't care about me, I am now at peace with my widow status. I no longer seek to fill the void because I now see that there never was a void. When you love someone as deeply as I loved Sean, that love remains.
I faced the pain. I swam down in the deep end of life. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not need validation from false friends or family members who only want to be in my life during the good times. Life is as ugly as it is beautiful. Life is as complicated as it is simple. Silence permeates it all. When we are able to sit in the silence, we can hear our hearts again.
About Moxie Girl Musings
Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com