I have tried to be honest about my grief through this whole process. I usually do that in the form of blog posts such as this one. I find that writing about my feelings helps me process them and I make my feelings public because it might help others. While it might only take you five minutes to read this blog post, it will take me hours to write this. Sometimes those hours are spread over days. I keep a written journal of sorts that I write down my thoughts and ideas that come to me as they are happening in their rawest forms and usually I review these journals when I write a blog post. Sometimes my thoughts go straight on my google doc and I spent hours elaborating and organizing these thoughts. I usually write about something that has bothering that particular week and I usually feel somewhat peaceful about that particular issue after I hit the publish button.
There are times that a feeling comes on so strong and I can’t keep it in. Like my blog posts, I need to get these issues out. So sometimes it comes out in a post on social media. Usually when I post on social media about something, I am upset and can’t wait to go through the process of writing a blog post. When I post something in this state, I am venting. I am not looking for sympathy nor am I looking for advice. If I am looking for advice, I would be asking a specific question. Usually when I post an emotional social media status, I don’t have anything left to debate or defend my position.
Usually the social media posts that spark the biggest reactions are those about religion. There are some widows and widowers that never lose their faith in God and that is great. I am happy for them. I began my grief journey feeling that way. I was actually fairly at peace when Bryon died but as time passed and I was left to deal with the grief, I was not comforted by God. I have recently begun reading A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis and Lewis speaks about feeling like God has slammed the door in his face. That is how I feel and I own it and I am honest about it. I don’t take my loss of faith lightly and I resent it when people imply that I have. I actually was very distressed about it in the beginning. Aside from a few rebellious teenage years, I have tried to have a close relationship with God. Being a good Catholic girl was a huge part of my identity and I was distressed that I was losing my identity on top of losing my husband.
I know that the comments about God being good and God allegedly loving me are well intentioned, it is actually like salt is being rubbed in my wound. I have also come to the conclusion that a lot of these well intentioned people truly don’t understand what I have lost and what kind of pain I feel every single day. And that is a good thing because I would never wish this type of pain on anyone.
Being told that I need to realize that life isn’t easy comes across as disingenuous to me and it demonstrates to me that my point is being missed. I lost my best friend and the love of my life after less than four years of marriage. Can people who have not had that loss truly tell me that they know how I feel? Bryon was robbed of the life he was supposed to live, the career he was working on, the places he wanted to go to, and the years he was supposed to spend with me and my daughter. I was cheated out of my Happily Ever After and my daughter was cheated out of knowing her father and all her years with him. I am tired of being told that the God that stole my daughters father from her is “loving”. She’s 2! What could a 2-year-old do to deserve that?
Sometimes I wonder if they need to reassure me of God’s alleged love not because I need to be reminded but that they need to reassure themselves. I also wonder of people’s motives when they are trying to convince me about God’s alleged love. Are bonus points given out for saving the widow? I don’t need another church or another religion. I am Catholic and will always be Catholic to some level. I don’t need a new parish. I will forever be grateful for the parish priest at my church. He was there for Bryon, my family and me even when God was not.
I know this post might offend some people but I have spent too much time over the past 8 months worrying that I was offending people and this has caused stress. Before Bryon got sick and passed away, I had the energy to deal with someone if they said anything rude or critical or insincere and by “deal”, I mean fume about rude, critical and insincere comments. I also held back a lot of my true feelings. But I don’t have the energy to fume. If you cause that kind of reaction from me, I am going to take a step back. I am going to take my space. Because I just don’t have the energy to deal with anything negative.
There are a lot of assumptions and expectations about who I am based on who I was. I touched upon that here. But I am done being defined by others expectations of who they think I am. I have spent my whole life worried about what people thought of me and not wanting to offend other people. I can’t do it anymore. I can’t hold back who I am, take care of my daughter, work 40 hours a week and grieve all at the same time. I have to put my daughter and myself first.
I know that this post may upset people but I need to take care of my daughter and myself. And those who are my true friends will understand and love me wherever my journey of self growth takes me. Maybe I will find my faith in God renewed. Maybe I will become a Buddhist. Those who love me will understand that I am smart and I am strong and I am don’t need to be told what to believe. I spent 38 years letting others have too much of a say in my life. I need to figure things out myself and I need to be honest to my myself. And I need to figure it out in my time. I am processing my grief and soul searching and I am confident that over time, I will figure out what path I need to take. The path that is best for me and the path that will lead my daughter into being who she is supposed to be. And a part of me is actually a excited about the process. I apologize that my self growth might make you uncomfortable but I will not apologize for doing what is best for me.