I’m feeling quite blocked lately…writer’s block…
I want to express something, but I’m not quite sure how to express it lately. I don’t want to be negative, but I want to be genuine. I don’t feel very optimistic, but don’t want folks to worry. I’m just not sure lately.
A few weeks ago, I went to Camp Widow in San Diego. I really wanted to go and I wanted to meet and be in the company of others who have walked the widowed journey. I enjoy the solidarity. I need to be around folks who know without explaining. I have several of those folks in my life, but we see each other too little. I know they know. I wanted to go to Camp Widow and see the ways people are helping each other through the widowed journey. I wanted to see how people had turned tragedy into survival and service to others. I saw all of this. It was truly amazing to watch how these wise folks had taken their pain and were reaching out to serve others in pain…and to make a party out of it.
What I didn’t expect to see and what I’m having trouble finding the words for is the solidarity of pain I experienced in these moments with others who have walked the journey. So many newly widowed people at the conference, so many stories of fresh loss were shared. Those stories make me ache inside. Not as much for me anymore, but for those sharing their story…well, that’s what I thought. I think in these weeks since being submerged in widowness, I have been touching my pain again. I have been feeling some things that I had successfully shoveled to the back of my mind, my being. The loneliness that was piercing in those early days is back. The feeling of being overwhelmed is rearing its ugly head. I thought that I had conquered much of this. I think that I am revisiting these painful moments so I can really embrace who I’m becoming…but, who knows…maybe I’m just sad again, maybe I just miss him again, maybe I just miss being all the things I was when he was alive.
It’s so strange because on the drive over to San Diego, I was pleasantly enthusiastic. This year, I entered the seventh year of my life without him. I have thought much about jubilee in this seventh year of widowness…jubilee in the early biblical sense…every seventh year was a year of redistribution, a year of sharing of wealth, property and food with the impoverished, a year to bring balance where justice and balance have been lacking…
I have been hoping that this will be the year when I can feel comfortable in these shoes I wear. That I can come to terms with who I am becoming and actually be happy about it. A year when the tables turn and the work I’ve been striving for comes to fruition. I so desperately need a year of jubilee. I so desperately need to feel happy again. I’ve been working so hard, for what seems like so long…I need a light at the end of my widowy tunnel. Don’t get me wrong…I know that this will always be a part of me. I know that my experience will always be woven into my life…
BUT I need to be more me too. I need to find joy. I need to find my way through this life that was dropped on to me like an anvil. I need to survive the pain. I need to thrive despite the pain.
So, because, by my own measure, I don’t feel like this is happening quickly enough – I can see the progress though. I can measure it through my experience in San Diego…I can see how different year seven is from year two or year three…even from year five. I know that healing is a long process. I know it is…but for some reason I feel like I’m behind. I feel like I’m stuck.
Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month…that is how I started my journey as a widow. Now as year by year becomes a reality (soon to be decade by decade), I must remember that there will still be times when I feel like this. I need to remember that stuck is ok for now…I’ve been stuck before and I still made it to today. I’ve been stuck in pain and been able to hold my head above water…even just barely. I need to remember that seven years to some isn’t very long. I need to remember that today is what is important and if I can find a few things to be grateful for and joyful about the day hasn’t been wasted. Even if today I am shedding tears and feeling stuck…I am grateful that it is today and not April 27, 2005 again.
I will get un-stuck. I must.