5 months ago today, still so shocked to the core, I ended my blog post this way:
"It's so nice to remember Rick. To hear what other people remember about Rick. Remembering is all we have now.
Remembering, though, is kind of tiring. I want to so much to be able to just walk into my kitchen and see him. I want to be able to hear his voice on the other end of the phone. I want to roll over at night and push him out of the way. I want to argue with him, laugh with him, and talk to him. If he was here, I wouldn't have to remember.
So I guess what I'm saying is I'm tired. And I just want to throw a tantrum sometimes. Instead, I'm going to wear Rick's bathrobe and go to sleep."
4 months ago today, cautiously navigating my way, I ended my blog post this way:
"'Look both ways before you cross the street,' my mind seems to say. Grief is like a highway full of traffic, debris, accidents, and fast moving vehicles. I have to look both ways. I have to keep my eyes wide open. I have to pay attention. I have to be deliberate in my actions. I have to stop to ensure safety.
I realized recently that part of grieving is about staying safe. Just as I have the Grief Zone, I also have Safe Zones. Blueprints for grief can be found, filed away in my mind and heart, the different zones mapped out and labeled so I know where my footing is most sure. I am learning this as I go.
I am learning. And I am leading. Onward through grief and so, onward through life."
3 months ago today, contemplative but coping, I ended my blog post this way:
"When I feel sad, when I feel alone, and when I feel like Rick's suicide was senseless... I remember that at least a shred of hope exists in all things. And that shred is the domino effect of other struggling lives... lives affected by depression...alcoholism...pain...and much more... lives that will remain lives, because Rick's death stamped out an option for them.
Maybe... just maybe... if Rick had not taken his life, many others would now be dead or thinking about dying.
Those messages... those shreds of hope...keep a smile on my face some nights. I tie those shreds of hope together and remember that we are all connected. And that one precious life lost to suicide means that others might embrace the gift of life."
2 months ago today, once acceptance had really set in, I ended my blog post this way:
"He taught me. He shaped me. He loved me.
And this grief is the price I am paying for all of that. I am willing to pay the price, because it means I lived an authentic life with him - the good with the bad, the pain and the joy. I am willing to pay the price, because I have no regrets. I wanted the time I had with Rick. And I would not change that. So now I have to go through grief... because I loved.
Grief can be terrible, powerful, painful, and earth-shaking. Grief is the price of love. But it is worth it."
Then 1 month ago today, my focus was not on what was lost, but on what remains...
"I think in my 30 years on this earth, I've experienced a lot of pain. Maybe more than a lot of people who have been alive much longer. But all the grief has given me the ability to recognize happiness - true happiness.
My appreciation scale has been adjusted. My gratitude is high.
I have a lot of wonderful things at work in my life. I have a lot of wonderful people too."
Tonight, as I looked back on the 12th of each month since my world shifted, I can see progression... I can almost feel the life slip back into me. And I don't know how this story ends, because it continues...