Thursday, April 07, 2016

It’s getting better everyday

A few weeks ago, I posted a video of me in the driveway of our old house.  I was pretty upset and wanted to share that.  I guess I felt like if I shared it, folks would understand a little more about grief and quite honestly, crying is something we all do from time to time and I wasn’t embarrassed about it (nor should you, if you need to do it!).

happy procrastinatorAnyway, perhaps because the house was finally sold and for the first time since Mark died, I didn’t have some big, not in my control, thing hovering over my head, I sort of hit bottom.  All of the things I had been holding inside me since June 2012 broke out.  I spent the whole of Easter Weekend either sleeping or crying.  That was not my plan for the weekend, I had intentions of tackling one of the spare bedrooms and getting it into shape.  When it played out like that though, I just let it roll.  As I have gone through this grieving process, I have learned to just roll with things and to not be hard on myself.  Beating myself up isn’t productive or in any way useful.

At the end of that weekend, I felt rested and cried out.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a little cry most days, but the horrible, ugly sobbing sessions that happened over Easter feel like they are gone.  I’ve been reading a lot about how other people experience and live with their grief, also, I listen to my wise and wonderful friends when they give me advice.  I don’t always follow it but I always listen to it.  All along, I have known in my head that Mark would be super pissed at me if I just sat around at home crying and feeling sad and lonely because he’s not here anymore.  The reality is that he’s gone, he’s not coming back.  My heart though, that’s another story.  My heart keeps thinking that I might wake up some morning and it will all have been a bad joke.  Like the worst joke EVER.  My head and my heart are starting to sync up finally. 

Very consciously, I have decided to embrace happiness.  Fuck being sad.  I will always miss Mark and will love him until I draw my last breath but I need to have fun again, to be happy and to laugh more than I have been.  I need to honour his memory and what we had in a positive way.  I’m working on that every day.  I read on a Facebook post the other week that “happiness is a journey, not a destination” and that has stuck with me.   I can’t wait to be happy, waiting until I recover from Mark’s death would be silly, I may never recover from it.  Would that mean that I couldn’t be happy again ever?  Nope. Not happening.  The very worst thing that I could ever imagine happened to me last year and I’m still here.  I actually survived it somehow.  I’m battered and bruised but still here.  Fuck cancer and fuck sadness.   You both thought you had knocked me out but you didn’t.  We all know, life is too short to spend it being miserable.  I’m choosing happiness for myself.


onegiantstep said...

I think of you often Peggy and am so happy to see that you are doing as well as can be expected. I grieved my father's passing a few years ago and yes, it was hard. But what was harder was watching my mother grieve the loss of her best friend and companion - that tore me up. Not quite a year after Dad died she said to me that she had made a decision; that when people inevitably asked how she was doing, she would no longer state how it's hard but that she's doing ok. No, now she would simply tell them she was doing well and thank them for asking. No more rehashing her sad days (although she still had them) - she was going to focus on being happy. It was definitely a turning point and I think it made a difference for her. Tomorrow, she and I are leaving for Ft Lauderdale where we will board a cruise ship and sail all the way back to Vancouver. A trip that she and my Dad had long wanted to do; she's ready now and over the moon excited to be finally doing it. Grief takes its own sweet time, but you do have the power to steer it just a little. Your post today made me smile for you. :)

Peggy Shanks said...

Thanks so much for this Gillian. I really do feel better, stronger and lighter. I'm feeling more like myself than I have in a really really long time and it's surprising me a bit. Like your mom, I've been telling people that I'm okay. I really am. Obviously it's not easy but I'm getting on with things. I hope that you gals have such a good trip. What a wonderful thing for you two to experience together. Much love to you my friend, and safe travels. xo

Holly Lefebvre said...

When I read this Peggy...I thought about Sam and her journey with the death of her best friend in the train accident. Each year nearing the anniversary of her accident, Sam would fall into a deep depression. I heard her sobbing on night in her room and I knocked on her door and went in and asked her to talk to me. She told me that she just didn't know what to do. I told her that she had spent so much time (about 7 years at this point) fighting with her thoughts and her what if's that it was time for her to reflect on all the good times she had with Sabrina. All the laughs they shared, all the crazy things they did together and to celebrate her life. From the time on, Sam now celebrates the day of her accident and Sabrina's death in a whole different way. She talks about her, laughs about her and tells anyone who will listen how much she loves her. It's so nice to hear and see you doing this with Mark. It's okay for you to laugh, smile, have fun because you of all people know that Mark wouldn't want it any other way. I love you Peggy XOXO

Peggy Shanks said...

Survivor's guilt is a terrible thing that some people never get past Holly. Sam was lucky to have you there for her to support her like you did. I had a lot of that after Mark's death but ultimately, I realized that no matter what I had done, the result would have been the same. The only difference was that he may have actually suffered longer and he definitely would have been hospitalized which he hated more than anything. I love you too Holly and am so glad that I have you in my life!! xoxo