As the rain fell outside my window, I sat in bed this Sunday morning thinking about where I was 7 months ago and where I am now. By no means do I have this grieving thing under control and by no means has the pain of missing Matt lessened. My heart breaks all over again over the smallest of memories, like coming across his cologne bottles and remembering how he would leave our house smelling like him long after he left for work. Grief is like being a batter up at the plate, you have no clue what pitch is coming next. Grief has sneaky ways of showing up, even during moments where you have a smile on your face and the next you’re fight back tears while grocery shopping. Grief doesn’t care about time, or place.
For me sometimes I can feel the pain welling up inside and I am able to take a deep breath and recognise where my mind is taking me and I choose to quickly think of a memory that brought joy to my heart. It is all about redirecting my thought process, to rewire my brain to think positively (even though I struggle to see what could be positive about losing my love). Other times, I am unable to stop myself walking down the dark path and my mind takes over my body and emotions.
For the first few months, I blamed myself for Matthew’s death. I held onto guilt like he was my new best friend. My mind got the best of me and I allowed the negativity and damaging thoughts to consume me…to be expected I am sure. I replayed the night he died over and over in my mind. What if I would have said this, or done that. What if, was how I started most of my sentences during those first months. Of course friends and family would tell me over and over that his death wasn’t my fault. They would reassure me that Matt knew how much I loved him, that no matter what I did there was no going back and saving him.
As much as your loved ones want to save you and take away your pain and no matter how many times they say it wasn’t your fault, it is a lesson I had to learn on my own. It took a lot of soul-searching (quite literally) and seeking out avenues of retraining my thought process to work my way out of the darkness that blame and guilt cast over me. Removing damaging thought processes is not an easy road to take, I had far to many questions and never enough answers. I had to make sense of it all, being left in a state of shock really does a number on your brain. On top of that as a society we are not equipped to deal with death and all that comes with it. It wasn’t until about 3 months after Matt’s death did I feel that I had made progress in knowing that there are some things you can’t make sense out of and to move forward I had to accept that idea.
7 months may not seem that long in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re grieving days can feel like an eternity. Looking back I am proud of the progress I have made and I know I have many more days to conquer that won’t be easy…Holiday season anyone!? Some days, I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything but with the gentle reminders from friends and family they help me realise that each day I get out of bed and take care of my children is an accomplishment. Each day I take care of my mind, body and spirit, is an accomplishment. Each day I remember to honour Matt’s life by having dreams and working to capture them, is an accomplishment. I will stumble and fall, I expect that to happen, but it is in those moments where my true character and determination will be put to the test. It is in those moments where I learn my true strength. 799