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Friday, January 22, 2016

My Seven Stages of Grief: Reconstruction and Working Through


Well, it has been one full year since Craig, my dear husband, passed away. Oh, what a year...

Fond memories, once-in-a-lifetime experiences  and lifelong friends were gained from my relationship with Craig. However, pain, loneliness, hurt, anger and fear occupied part of my being, due to the state of affairs and relationships with which I was left.  I always try to see the positive and count my blessings, that is simply the way I was raised. I tried to spend the year dancing, writing, celebrating my husband's life, and, attempting to  live life...without him. I knew I was blessed. I knew I had more in eleven years with Craig than most people have in fifty years of marriage. I was grateful. 

I have always been an independent woman. I had no problem going to establishments alone, golfing alone, taking walks and biking alone. But, I had my best friend to return to after each excursion. I had my best buddy to share the experience with and, of course, any humor I experienced with each event. This past year I simply came home to a puppy who really didn't want to hear my stories..even the funny ones:(

But with each challenge and with every single  feeling of pain or loneliness, I was accompanied by more friends, family and support than a person could ever want. I was surrounded, even in my darkest times. They all seemed to know. At times when I would be heading to school on a Friday, knowing the weekend without Craig was here, my girlfriends would text me messages of love and support. On Mondays, when I began my lonely, structured week, my friend would take me for a walk. Weekends that were the loneliest, my family and friends were always wanting to get together to dine and spend time together. Friends called each week to catch up with me. My colleagues were beyond gracious and good to me, always checking in on me. For all of the wonderful people in my life, I am forever grateful. 

Yes, it was a difficult and trying year, but it was also a year of growth. You never know your potential until you are put to the test. Apparently, after all of these years thinking I could never live alone, I guess I can. I don't prefer it, I just know now that I CAN actually live alone. I also learned that I can celebrate my birthday and holidays without Craig being there with me physically. He was certainly the king of fun, but somehow I made it through all of the celebrations without him and was somehow able to enjoy myself. Maybe he was there with me in spirit. I would like to believe that is true.

I am forever grateful for the life I had with Craig. No one can take away the memories we made together. I am also grateful for my insistent need to take photos and selfies everywhere we went. No one can take those away either. I was certainly blessed with experiences of a lifetime! 

I am a better and stronger person because of my loss. I learned about my abilities and strengths. I learned I am able to stand up for myself and for what is right. I am independent, but not alone. I am not as domestically challenged as I always thought, or maybe I just got better in order to survive. 

One thing is for certain, because of Craig, I have not only been changed for the better, but also, I have been changed for good. 

This weekend I am embracing it three-fold: 

1. Alone. I will spend his anniversary day alone. I will receive some pampering at a spa, but in essance, I will be alone. This will be a time to reflect, release and regroup. 

2. Family/Friends. I will spend the evening with my sisters and my one bestie (my rocks). We will imbibe, play games, cry, laugh, share fond Craigee memories and cry some more. 

3. My new friend. I will finish the weekend with the kind, caring and very understanding man who has been in my life for the past three months. He got through my melt-down in December, so, hell, he can handle anything now:) I think at this point he could write a book about Craig..

It is time to move forward, accept my life as it is, be grateful for those who have stayed in my life, accept those who have not and, well, .....just  DANCE. 

My friend sent me this quote on FB and it may always resonate with me: 
"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we should still dance!"

So, with this anniversary of the loss of the life of my dear husband, I encourage each and every one of you to get out this weekend and dance like it is the last dance of your life!


bender said...

thank you...you are so strong. i love you.

Kasey Kellem said...

Back at you, Bender! Thanks for being in my life!