It Gets Better and That’s No Foolin’

The blog was a bit quiet in March. Did you notice? I did. This is my place to unspool the thoughts in my head, and I’ve missed having the opportunity to the work through some threads rolling around there lately.

I serve as a volunteer for Junior Achievement, and that took up a good chunk of my schedule last month. Then, the flu/cold bug that we had successfully avoided all winter finally hit our house. Between the two, there wasn’t much time to do anything other than the essential writing work.

But now it’s April 1st, and I always love when the first of the month lands on a Saturday. It means that not only have I wrapped up all of last month’s work, but it gives me permission to take two days off to do what I want…like write on the blog.

It Gets Better Even if You Don’t Want It To

So here’s what’s on my mind:

The sun is shining. I’m sitting at the library looking at the blue sky and the relatively still waters of the river outside. The thermometer in my van said it’s 43 degrees. Altogether, that makes it a beautiful spring day in Michigan.

Life feels good.

It really does.

And that makes me think about when life didn’t feel good. When I didn’t want it to feel good.

Tom always told me I would move on. I always told him I would not.

Moving on feels like a betrayal. It feels like saying ‘eh, I didn’t need you.’ When it hurts – when the grief is consuming – it feels like a declaration to yourself, if not to the world, that this person was important. That this person was so special and meant so much that I can’t ever get over his loss.

If that’s what the hurt means, what does it mean when life gets better?

That’s what I’m grappling with.

Nearly four years after putting my husband’s body in the ground, life feels ok. It feels normal. It feels right. And yet that right feels wrong. My tears are reserved for occasions like birthdays and band concerts. I think Tom would be happy about that, and I am working hard to feel happy about that myself.

Time Really Does Heal

I’m not sure if this is good news or bad news for those of you who are dealing with a fresh loss.

I know a lot of people told me that time would heal the gaping wound in my heart. People who had been there, done that informed me that while life would never be the same, it would get better. I was absolutely sure they were wrong. How could I ever get over the loss of someone who meant so much?

Now, here I am telling you that they were right. Time does heal. You’ll always have that emotional scar to remind you of what was and what will never be, but you won’t feel it the same way you felt it in that those early months and years.

For those of you floundering in darkness, I hope this is encouraging…that it gives you hope that you will smile again, and that your happiness will be genuine. And if you feel conflicted about that, know that a lot of us feel the same way too.

What are your thoughts? Did you hope life would get better after a loss or were you secretly wishing the pain would last forever as a testament of your love?