The end of October heading into November is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, smell, festiveness, basketball, cool weather, and everything involving pumpkins and cinnamon. I love the Fall. Halloween and Thanksgiving are two of my favorite holidays and they are less than a month apart. My birthday is November 2nd, and 2 days before Thanksgiving this year is George’s death anniversary. Unfortunately the grim reaper will linger for much longer than just Halloween night. My grief has been getting worse, and it’s impacting my routines. I’m crying in public again, which in itself is humiliating for me because I hate feeling weak. I’ve been shutting my office door more often and I’ve been becoming more reclusive at night. When I go out I need to be home by 10p so I can just be.
I’ve read that heading to the first death anniversary is the hardest time, but I thought I could be the exception. But I’m okay. It’s okay it will crush me all over again. I have different weaponry and perspective than I did the first time around, but unfortunately the reality of this emotional uncertainty is the way of life for a bit. Try explaining that to colleagues. You may have forgotten I’m widowed, but when I go home and cook a meal for one, go to bed alone and wake up on George’s side of the bed, I have that excruciating reminder every day. I put on a good face and take my position in the foxhole knowing I’ll be stronger later.
This morning when I looked at the young widow board a woman posed a question I cannot stop thinking about: “What’s the one thing you’ve turned to during this time of loss that has given you the most comfort and hope to keep moving forward?” She’s not asking for what people are doing to cope with grief because there’s an endless array of combative strategies. I’ve adopted fitness as my strategy to deal with my loss. But the thing that gives me comfort and hope… That’s what had me humming and hawing.
I work out to make myself feel better. I work out to change my body. I work out to focus. I work out to be different than I was before. I work out to control my grief.
When I became more involved with fitness and training, I wished for my body to change. And it did. I’m not physically the same person I was when I was with George. But I had a dream several weeks ago where I visited him in the hospital and he didn’t recognize me. I cannot believe I didn’t write about this yet! I kept trying to explain to him it was me, but George just didn’t recognize me, and finally I went out with my grandfather (who passed away in 2011) for pizza in NYC. So with a drawn out anecdote, I don’t think fitness provides me comfort– at least not in the way I want.
I believe I’ve found different avenues that have given me hope to keep moving forward. My lacrosse team being one of the most important and ever glowing beacon of hope. But as I reflect on what has provided me comfort, I think it’s another sad realization the feeling and idea of comfort is eluding me. But I also may be preventing myself from becoming comfortable. It may be time for a visit to the grief counselor.