My internal compass

I’m feeling kind of down lately.  For the last two weeks, I’ve been reflecting on where life is going and the decisions I’ve made over the past year or so.  I tend to do this in April because it  is my month.  It is the month that my life changed forever and my husband died.   Six Aprils have passed now and some days, I don’t think I’ve come very far.  Some days are very sad and I am weary of being a widow.  I keep trying to get on with my life, so to speak, but something is wrong…my internal compass is off.

That little voice in my head, the thoughts that I have when making a decision, the directions I take and the choices I make never seem quite right.  I swear that I try.  I swear that I think things through well and try to make the best decisions for my family and myself. Why is it then that I always hit roadblocks, tough obstacles and more sadness?  I don’t get it.  Don’t I get credit for trying to go on with life? Don’t I get credit for trying to find direction when my compass is lost…or maybe just broken and can’t be repaired?

This week I have been a weepy mess.  It really just feels like I can’t catch a break.  I am sick and tired of challenges and hanging in there…but what choice do I have?  Really I have no other choice.  I have to hang in, I have to keep trying, I have to keep hoping I will feel better in that nebulous someday…

Six years down the road, I am asking myself, will it ever get better? Will it be better this year, next year, after a decade?  I know that I’m in a time line of the year that is hard for me.  I know that every April I think about what happened in April 2005.  I remember watching my husband die.  I remember sitting on the bed next to him, nursing our son, and seeing him die.  I know I lived this.  I know it, but it is still so hard to believe.  People around me are going on with their lives and I seem to be going on with mine, but I just still can’t believe this is my life.  How could my life take such a horrible turn?

I know I have much to be grateful for, but some days, it is just really hard for me to put on the happy face.  As I watch people live their lives, I feel happy for them, but I still feel so empty inside.  I still feel like I’ve lost my way and don’t know if I’ll find out who I was really supposed to become.

So, I’ll be weepy today, maybe even tomorrow too, but I will keep moving toward my true north…where ever it may be.  I will get up each day, be grateful for my kids and try not to be overwhelmed.   I will always try to be hopeful and I will forgive myself when I cannot.  Even when it feels like I can’t make a decision that will work out, I will continue to do my best…it’s really all I have.

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8 thoughts on “My internal compass

  1. Amy says:

    Chris
    My heart cries with you. Sending you big hugs, good thoughts and prayers. xo

  2. Merry Widow says:

    …and nothing is the right thing for someone else to say in comfort or response. People try so hard but nothing is right because this whole experience just seems … well, wrong! I’m so sorry.

  3. megan says:

    I know – like you “come to” and think – I lived this. And I’m supposed to live with what I lived, I mean, carry it with me and, I don’t know – DO things? I can’t imagine ever being not incredulous at that. And being not able to necessarily trust you own inner compass or guidance, that is another heaviness to carry around, to sling over your shoulder and still try to make choices anyway. An odd thought that just came to mind – are your footsteps deeper now? I mean, if a tracker were reading our tracks through this forest, would they be able to read – she is carrying something heavy, and see here, she is often unsure of her steps…..

  4. Diane says:

    Christine, I feel like you’re speaking in my voice when you write. May is my month, but April 25th is the last day I saw my husband alive. It’s only been two years for me. I have many times been tempted to send your essays to my friends, and say “here, read this – maybe then you will understand how I feel. Maybe this will explain why I can’t ‘move on’, ‘find joy’, ‘do volunteer work’ and all those other things you all want me to do.”
    Thank you for the comfort and validation you give me with your words.

    • cmt says:

      My humble thanks Diane. It is truly my hope that somehow the words I put on the page will lead to greater understanding and compassion – from others and for ourselves. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you again for your comment and please be gentle with yourself.

  5. Teri Woods says:

    Christine: You are telling MY story. My husband just passed on April 8 of pancreatic cancer. There is NO time to grasp what is happening in the frantic race from doctor to doctor searching for hope/a cure as this cancer is one of the most aggressive and once you find out your loved one is sick there is only weeks left to hold onto him. My heart bleeds for you and me. Our children will be the bright spot in life for us. I am a Christian as well and I stood on faith for a miracle for my husband of 25 years. Yet he passed away at home one week after his 60th birthday and just 4 weeks from finding out he was sick. We grieve double, the time of illness and caring for our husbands and again at their loss. I am at the beginning of my sorrow but I will remember you when we meet April each year. May the Lord bless you and your family and keep you always.

    • cmt says:

      Teri,
      I am so sorry for your loss. My heart bleeds for you also. I am so sorry that this is your journey. Know you will be in my thoughts and prayers as you make your way. Please be gentle with yourself.
      Chris

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