Excavating hope

Last week, I was digging for motivation.  Unfortunately, I have not been finding myself very motivated. I am still feeling down and as I went to do our family calendar for the month of March, realized that the end of March marks the first anniversary of my dad’s death.  Then, only one short month later, will be the sixth anniversary of my husband’s death.

Sixth.

Yes, the sixth.

No wonder I’m in the dumps.  Some days, I can almost forget, but my heart, my soul, my being remembers.

For most of this week I’ve been thinking about happiness and what that looks like in my widow world.  Happiness certainly isn’t the same in this world as it was in the world I used to live. As I dig for hope, I have to wonder how this hope and happiness is measured now. I wonder will I ever really be happy again?  I just am not happy, that truly carefree happy, that I had experienced in the past.  I can’t get there anymore.  My kids aren’t happy…and I can’t tell if it’s just normal or if it’s something I need to be concerned about now.  Is it just one of those weeks…

Is it just one of those lifetimes?

I remember happy.  I remember laughing until my stomach hurt. I remember joy. I feel hope, but some days are just so sad for me still.  Some days there is just nothing to look forward to…not the big things…like vacations and such…I miss looking forward to coming home to Dave at the end of the day…I miss the real end of the day when we crawled into the same bed, I miss the kiss goodbye in the morning and the phone calls during the day…all these things brought me happiness.  All these things I looked forward to each day…how can I find hope again when all those moments are gone…never to happen again with him.  How can I keep digging when I know the only treasure I really truly want can never be had again?

I know many of you who will read this will understand my deep, deep heartache.  I know many of you struggle in the same way that I do everyday. This solidarity is one of my few sources of hope.  This solidarity, this kinship we share in our losses and the kindness and depth of sharing we participate in is one way that excavate hope in my life.  I don’t like being a part of this club and I’m very sad you are here too, but, I am sure glad you are here with me…because I couldn’t make it alone.  I look forward to writing for you.  I look forward to reading about you. I look forward to our healing.  I guess that’s where some of the hope comes.

As hard as it is to live this life of widow everyday, this solidarity we share gives me courage to keep on going and has really let me know that I am not alone.  All of you keep moving and show me that I can too.  In my early days of loss, I really thought no one understood what I was going through each moment.

Now I can’t believe how arrogant a thought that was…every day so many struggle with great loss and continue to contribute to the greatness of humanity.

Today as I continue to search for things to look forward to and to hope for…I am grateful that I have found all of you.  Thank you for your stories.  Thank you for your willingness to share your pain, your sadness, your raw truth.

All of this is a great treasure.  I hope it helps us all heal and continue to love through our terribly wounded hearts.

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3 thoughts on “Excavating hope

  1. amy says:

    Chris
    Thoughts and prayers to you this and everyday.
    I had never planned on joining this club. I miss so much. I miss Larry, like you said, coming home to him, calling him to let him know that I made it to work safe and sound on a wintery driving morning. knowing that our porch light would be on, if I was driving home in a snowstorm- my beacon in the storm. Those times are done, all the things that made me laugh are gone.
    I think that my mind is more scattered and I never know when the grief will kick it self up a notch and take over me.
    I am grateful to be able to share these feelings and know that others know, though we would rather not have this to share. I am grateful for this blog and the safe opportunity to express my feelings.
    I was and still am grateful to see my friend smile and enjoy an art quilting class that we took together last Saturday. She lost her husband to a brain tumor about 4 years ago and is so serious. Life is serious, death takes from us. But I did have Larry for a bit and I am grateful for all he brought into my life. I have to trust that God will get me through another day. I have not figured out my purpose, but trust that she will lead me where I need to go. I pray that I will listen and be open to directions.
    I pray for all who grieve and have lost loved ones. It breaks my heart. I cannot make it all better.

    The sun is out and we have fresh new snow and that brings hope. Little things. You never know.
    blessings, hugs and love to you all.

  2. megan says:

    all those little daily things, just life. Knowing it can’t and won’t be again. Seriously, how are we supposed to find happy, given that? To actually really laugh like that. Was watching Joel Osteen last night when I couldn’t sleep, and I so much wanted him to to go beyond “god will prosper you and make it even better than before your trials.” Better is just not a reality. How to live in this, given this, that is what I need to hear so much. Promises of being alright in eternity are also not so useful to the now. A workable, livable faith in this, that includes this – tiny little joy bits that include this. Certainly I am not there yet. But sometimes that is a tiny bit of hope, that there will be some joy bits in the pieces.

  3. Diane says:

    “The phone calls during the day” – that one is a powerful memory and terrible loss. “Hi, it’s me” – I’ll never say it or hear it again. I have text messages my husband sent me the last few days before he was killed. He wrote me six times on that Mother’s Day, ’09, 3 days before he died. Every text said I love you and I miss you. One said “on my way home – can’t wait to see you!” The calendar is a dark thing – I just passed the anniversary of my father’s death; March 8th would’ve been our 9th wedding anniversary; Apr 25th is the day Allen left on that last trip; he never came home. Then May 13th, when the cop came to my door in Utah to tell me my husband was dead on a highway in Oklahoma; May 20th, the burial in a military cemetery in Tennessee. I fear and hate the calendar – because I can’t stop it from coming upon these dates again, and I can’t change the outcome.

    Something my aunt said many years ago about the death of her husband rings so true for me – “it never gets better, I just get better at pretending”….

    Thanks, again for another meaningful post, Chris.

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