In the book, Understanding Your Grief, by Alan D. Wolfhelt, Ph.D., he talks about never forgetting your grief, or "getting" over it, but rather coming to reconcile with it.
I have to points two make....First he offers the way to reconciliation is intentional mourning through methods such as: talking it out, writing it out, crying it out, thinking it out, playing it out, or other various methods of emotional expression. I think that everyone that knows me well, has seen me do these things. This blog, my posts, the responses and the thoughts that have been thought through because of it, have helped me greatly in this area. Second, he offers the following signs that reconciliation has happened:
-a recognition of the reality and finality of death
-a return to stable sleep and eating habits
-a renewed sense of release from the person that has died,there will be thoughts about the person, but they will not constantly occupy the mind
-the capacity to enjoy experiences in life that are normally enjoyed
-the establishment of new and healthy relationships
-the capacity to live a full life without feelings of guilt or lack of self-respect
-the drive to organize and plan one's life toward the future
-the serenity to become comfortable with the way things are rather than try to make things the way they were
-The awareness that you allowed yourself to fully grieve and that you have survived
-The awareness that you don't "get over" your grief; instead, you have to a new reality, meaning, and purpose in your life.
-The aquaintance of new parts of yourself that have been discovered from the loss of the relationship.
-The acknowledgemet that the pain of loss is an inherent part of life resulting from the ability to give and receive love.
As I read that today, most, if not all of these things rang true to me. Grieving doesn't have a time limit, but has steps. Grieving doesn't have to take years, but for some people it does. I have more or less reconciled myself to Mickey's death. Of course it will forever have an affect on my life, of course I won't ever forget him, or the life I had with him and of course I will always miss him. However, I can say good-bye to him. Typing that brings tears to my eyes, because I thought I'd never have to do it, but I have. The journey isn't over of course, that goes on, but now it is the journey of Katie, not Mickey's widow. Some people probably won't understand how I could in the comparatively brief time. Those people might think that I've forgotten Mickey, or that we had a less than perfect relationship, or that I am ignoring my true feelings, or many other things...but I haven't forgotten him, we had a good relationship through some very hard times, and I have thoroughly thought through my feelings and emotions. I am a researcher...I am a reader. I am not afraid to use and accept the knowledge of others. I have sorted through things, and come to the conclusion...I am Katie, I am single, and I have a whole different life now.
Now, I want to share with you how God has helped me through this. My faith was strong before the accident. Because of this, I never felt anger or guilt about what happened. I never felt anger towards Mickey, the other driver, etc. I had episodes of anger of having to be alone to raise three boys, but completely normal and expected. I, of course, questioned God on what He would let hit happen, but in time I came to the acceptance that we don't always know why, and that our faith sometimes requires us to understand, accept and acknowledge that fact without having a reason or explanation. I don't know why it happened, or why it happened when it did but God knows, and I trust God to handle it for me. I have the knowledge that Mickey is in a better place, a more beautiful place for a soul that had been troddened upon so many times, but still had raised up to glorify God. I have the knowledge that Mickey is good, he's no longer in pain and is no longer anxious, and that he gets to have coffee with Christ :) I think Jesus would drink it black compared to Mickey's three sugars and three creams. I have the knowledge that God allowed for me to share those six plus years with Mickey and that he gave me three beautiful little boys through him. I have the knowledge that someday when we are all together again with Jesus in Heaven that we can laugh and share again with eachother, and the others that loved him.
Most of all I have God's promise that He will never forsake me, He will never let me go, and that He has a life for me of blessings if I am willing to take them, which I am :) I know I have a future, though I don't know what it is. I know that I don't want to be single, but have doubts about ever finding someone again willing to take on the luggage I bring along. However, God knows what He has for me, and I will seek that. I don't have any doubts that God will bring me to the point of marriage again, and my doubts and the hurdles I see are nothing to God. He knows what He doing and He'll accomplish it without my help or worries or suggestions. I know for now I want to be me. I want to continue to figure out who Katie is and take joy in the God blessed role of being a mom of three of His blessings.