I seriously considered not posting my grief posts anymore. I figured most people don’t want to read about it anymore even though I’ve noticed my readership goes up on grief posts. I didn’t want this to turn into a grief blog. There are plenty of those out there and I am so thankful for every one that I have stumbled upon and sadly, have now added to my daily reads. They help me. They validate my feelings. They make me feel normal. Grief books, counselors and the like tell me my feelings are normal, but sometimes I feel a little too pushed by well meaning people in my life that I start to question the definition of normal. I have to remember that their definition of normal is quite different than my definition of normal these days. Those that seem to be pushing a little too hard have not been rocked by this tragedy. And thank God for that. As many of us who were closest to Mike remark time and time again, we don’t want anyone to have to feel the pain we are experiencing. I recently heard a statistic that more military members have died by suicide this year than in combat. Upon hearing that information, I felt punched in the gut all over the again. The intense pain comes rushing back again even if just for a moment. I feel for those family members and friends of the lost. I never wanted to know the pain, but I do.
During my internal debate over whether or not to keep posting my grief posts, I remembered the reason I started this blog. I occupy this little space on the web to document my life. Unfortunately, this tragic experience is now a part of my life. As much as I’d like to turn back time and pretend this never happened, it did. Other people document life altering events -- like pregnancies, illnesses...And, I have to remember that I write for myself not for my readers. I’m not ashamed to admit, though, that it is encouraging to get comments and likes as a show of support. I know this tragedy will affect me for the rest of life and I want to remember all of these feelings, small victories, and even the setbacks.
When speaking with a friend the other day, she commented, “Jess, you have one heck of a testimony through this experience.” This is so true. I have never been in such a low spot in my life, but I’ve also never felt God’s presence more. Another friend remarked, “You will always grieve the loss of Mike, but your deep grief will start to dissipate when you feel like you can be joyful again; when you feel like you can have a bond like that again.” There is a whole lotta truth to that, too. I have many fun events on the books for this year and I am starting to be able to have conversations without referring to this situation at all. This used to take so much focus it was exhausting to talk to people. And, if you know me, that’s saying something. I love talking! But, the conversations are flowing with much more ease these days. So, slowly but surely, I am adjusting. I may not have ever realized that had it not been for this blog.
This blog has been a tremendous help for my grief. I have written many posts that I didn’t publish because I feared what others might think. I’m done with that. I am going to clean up those posts and publish them. If you are looking for lots of juicy details, you’re not likely to get them. I will protect Mike, our family, and our friends until the day I die. What will be on this blog is truth in my life - the times of deep sorrow, of great joy, and all those inbetween. So, my grief posts will continue (with splashes of other parts of life scattered about). I NEED to write them for me. But, of course, if you know someone they might help, please, please pass them along. I hope to show you (and myself) in future posts that my smile is not quite whole but I am continuing to grow into the woman that God has created me to be – through the joy, sorrow, and mundane.
To be continued…