Spring Forward; Fall Back

barefoot-hikeLast October, the calendar said I graduated. No cap and gown necessary. Completing a year of ‘firsts’ after my husband died was the only requisite for graduation. A friend who reached that mark herself not long before, warned me that the ‘second year’ can feel even worse than the first. Good talk. Seriously, this year wasn’t bad enough? How hard could the second year be?

Let’s just say I hate when people are right, don’t you?

Last year I put all my energies into ‘doing’, not being. And all the distractions worked fairly well to push me through those hellish 12 months. Gradually though, all the ‘first’ holidays, birthdays, big and small family events were put away, like that bulky down coat when spring finally settles in. And then you wake up with a thud in the real’ zone, loudly reminded that the one you love is Not. Ever. Coming. Back. I realize that’s not exactly breaking news but in the first year you shoved that little fact up on the shelf until you can handle it better. Spoiler alert: When the smoke finally clears, it’s still there — grief 2.0.

You found out the hard way, that there’s no short cut, or quick path through grief. Yet, you pushed through, cuts, scrapes and thorny brush because when you’re in the real zone you have no other choice and no GPS to help you navigate.  Richard Branson quipped that “If you find yourself stuck in the middle, there’s only one way to go – forward.” Good plan.

Things will never be what they were – neither will you. That’s what the ‘real zone’ is all about. Once the last shreds of the smokescreen are stripped away, the reality of the missing is exposed. The emotional and physical connection we had with the one no longer here is starkly visible. Continue reading

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You’re not in Kansas Anymore.

Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.

The Wizard of Oz

yellow-brick-road

Turn off the lights. Lock the doors. Head upstairs. Simple. Been there, done that routine more nights than I can count. It’s repeated nightly in every household around the globe. Yet these days, even simple routines — suck. Every nuance screams I’m in a different world now – a world of one. My life made a major detour to the flip side of Oz.

It’s hard not to remember, as I climb the stairs, not only how I found my husband lying there just months ago, but how this home once rang with voices. The only thing ringing now are my ears from the buzzing lack of sound. Like the train tracks I had to draw when I was learning perspective, endless nights just like this, stretch ahead of me. But, when you think about it, don’t most things come down to that – perspective. Continue reading