Dealing with grief

Whenever I see a sunset, I thank George for painting me a beautiful backdrop.

Whenever I see a sunset, I thank George for painting me a beautiful backdrop.

I really wanted to muster up a poignant post as I head into this anniversary of George’s death. But I think throughout the course of the year, with what I’ve learned and how to deal with grief would be more suitable. I’m no longer considered a new widow. I will be entering my second year of widowhood tomorrow, yet the pain is still so sharp and unpredictable. It has become a part of me.

This journey continues on. There is no end to it, just another leg of it. The beginning I was so out of it and in shock. I’m still baffled how I was coaching a team when I did. I’m still wowed that I returned to work after a week. I’m also befuddled that people criticize me tremendously when all I am trying to do is survive and adjust to this new life. Do I believe I deserve a pass? Absolutely not, but pick and choose your battles with me. I am one tough woman, and this year has proven my resilience and determination. Walk a mile in my shoes and try not to crumble within the first hundred yards. I am a goddamn fighter and survivor.

The pain of losing George is so dark. In an instant I can be brought to uncontrollable sobs. There is a place inside of me that is so broken and fractured that I do so much outwardly that I never have to visit that place. But sometimes it builds within me and permeates out. When the sadness reveals itself it knocks me on my ass until it subsides.

I carry with me guilt that I wasn’t able to do the things with George we wanted to do. And now I weep for the future I’ll never have, and embrace the memories that sting like a tetanus shot when they flash through my skull.

There’s something I have had the unmistakable task of learning and that is nothing will dull this ongoing pain. It’s prevalent and has become me. I have tortured my body by running into freezing ocean water in January, electrocuted myself in Germany, ran across towns until my knees and calves were screaming in agony, battered and bruised myself falling off a bike as I tried to pedal up a steep hill, just brutalized myself by lifting, and have biked and run on congested roads at night time. Throughout this year, I have pushed my body beyond uncomfortable limits, and every time I am stronger, smarter, and better for it. But nothing can take away the pain I feel from losing him. But as I’m in the process of trying to forget on these 8, 9, 10, 13 mile runs, or 30 mile bike rides, I just hope he sees me and goes, “that’s my wife.”

I get the pleasure of knowing when he died I was his wife and forever be his. He’s no longer with me, but he is mine. And what I’ve learned during the grieving process is love transcends this life. And the love I have for George is so deep that it propels me to continue forward. I’ve wanted to stop and say to hell with this life so many times, but what kind of wife would I be to him if I did? I need to keep going on, regardless of how painful days can be, because he loves me and for that I give back as much as I can.

Energy cannot be made or destroyed, but it can change form, and he has become my propeller. I hate these anniversaries, I hate how horrible I feel now and to the lead up to today. I hate that I have to go through this again year after year. But I would never trade the time I got to spend with him. He taught me what love is, and when he died, I had to learn how to love myself. And I can confidently say that this year, the is the most valuable thing I’ve learned. I love myself and who I’ve become.

I talked about running a half marathon when he was alive, but never did. So doing the Philly Half Marathon was one of the most satisfying and euphoric days.

I talked about running a half marathon when he was alive, but never did. So doing the Philly Half Marathon was one of the most satisfying and euphoric days.

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About J.

Fitness professional, fitness & nutrition writer, widowed at 28. Writing about getting through grief through self-care, physical activity, and the ​constant feeling of being uncomfortable.
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One Response to Dealing with grief

  1. sallypeace says:

    I never understand how people can criticise when they aren’t in your position. Filling up your day stops you looking into the parts of your memory that cause the most pain and is a way of dealing with things but makes it look like you are strong and totally coping, which isn’t always the case. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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