I’ve made it through my first year alone and the last painful ‘first’ anniversary: the boy’s death. It’s time acknowledge the progress I’ve made and give some thought to the future.
My life is still defined by my grief but no longer controlled by it. The sadness is ever-present but for the most part I am able to set it aside when I want to and enjoy activities and the company of friends. My mind has a tendency to wander still and recent memories are often fuzzier than they should be – possibly because I am less present in those moments. I still need distractions to get a break from the grief and I need time alone to focus on the grief to relieve the emotional pressure. So I monitor and manage my emotional health to maintain the fragile balance I have achieved.
I haven’t made peace with my loss yet. I still want to rage at the gods for taking him from this world. I still crave him intensely. I fantasize about the life we would have had if he hadn’t become sick – or the extra time we could have had, if he’d made it past that last crisis. I desperately miss the happiness and security I had from knowing he would always look out for me. I can’t imagine a future where I feel that way again because those things came from having him in my life. My focus is still too much in the past. I don’t want to leave my life with him behind.
But I do feel more confident and I am taking some interest in life. I am starting to want other people in my life again. I’ve progressed from forcing myself to accept invitations to looking forward to them. It’s time to start looking at the future.
So what does that mean?
My focus over the past year has been on healing – avoiding stress and responsibility and taking time to recover and come terms with my loss. I think the next step will be to focus on who I want to become now that I am forced to redefine myself. It’s time to start getting serious about my physical health, strengthen my connections with friends and family, and try to identify interests that will pull me forward.