I should have known. I should have been ready. I wasn’t.
It’s been over two years since Kramer passed away. Monday the 26th was my second wedding anniversary without him here.
I’ve been doing so good lately. Really, really good, so I didn’t think much about it. I planned about going about my business like any old other day. He was gone…there was no anniversary to celebrate.
I seriously have been doing so well. I haven’t had a bout of tears sneak up on me. I haven’t randomly started crying when I was alone for a long time. I hadn’t had the talks with myself telling myself that I was going to be okay. I just was okay and didn’t need the self-talks.
I didn’t build any buffers. I didn’t visit the cemetery days before my anniversary. I didn’t talk about it in advance with the kids. I didn’t write a blog post to work through it all. I didn’t do any of the things I usually do in advance to help get past the bigger days. It was going to be just another day. I’ve been doing this grief thing for a while. This was just going to be another day.
It was a good plan…or at least I thought it was.
It turns out, it wasn’t. It was a bad plan.
Somehow, without me knowing, grief snuck up on me and caught me.
All I could think to say was…Hello, big-time grief. It’s been a while since you were here. I was hoping you were gone for good. You weren’t. You really fooled me, but here you are.
I thought I wasn’t a rookie anymore. I thought I was getting to be an old pro at grief. I thought I had it in control. I thought I had tamped it all down. This time around, I was reminded I am still a rookie. It is not all tamped down. It is not all under control.
I have no idea what did it to me. I have no idea where it came from.
Some of you might remember Kalissa’s blog post about the ball and the box and how grief works. If you missed it. You can find it HERE. It’s an excellent post. It accurately describes how grief works.
Monday my ball was BIG.
People who crossed my path that day didn’t know or remember it was our anniversary. It was sad. No one said anything. I didn’t want to say anything as I knew it was one of those days I was on the edge. Those are days when I just know if someone says the right or wrong thing, I might just lose it.
I was working so I didn’t want to lose it in the middle of work.
Then the why’s flooded in. Why him? Why me? Why us? UGH. There is no answer to that. I know that. Why did I let my mind go there. It’s never good when it does.
I knew I had to pull myself out of that. Then came the…why not me? Why not him? Why not us? Also, not good.
I knew I had to pull myself out of that too.
So I planned a little intervention with myself. I’d go to the cemetery. I’d water the flowers there. I’d stitch on a cross-stitch sampler to commemorate our anniversary. Once everyone was gone, I’d allow myself to grieve.
But life happened. It didn’t work out like I hoped…like I wanted…like I needed.
It would be so easy to slide down a slippery slope and get stuck there. It would be so easy to curl up and cry for a day, a week, maybe more. But I know that’s not me. That’s not what I do. I can’t let myself slide. It would be too hard to get out.
There are people here to love. There are things here that need to get done. I still have work to do.
So…a good cry in the shower.
Some stitches into the sampler.
A few looks at our wedding pictures…
This is a favorite of mine.
A few words with Kalissa…a few with Kelli.
A little extra sleep and I’m back on the path.
A little self-talk reminder that for 32 years I was loved and cared for by one of the best…yes, our time was cut short, but I had 32 great years. That is many more than some people get so I’m going to embrace what I had and not get lost in what I don’t have.
My ball is still a little bigger than I’d like. (Read Kalissa’s blog to understand that), but I’m back in motion. I’m moving forward. I’m not letting myself get stuck where I was.
Thankfully I’m not a newbie. I know bad times come. I know grief can sneak in. I know I can deal with this and shrink that ball in the box. I also know it takes a little time and I know to give myself the grace I need.
I’m okay. Don’t worry about me. If you’ve dealt with this yourself, you know this is completely normal…and if you haven’t dealt with grief like this before, when it’s your turn, know grief has an ebb and flow. Know you’ll have a good year and then a bad day or two can slip in.
Also know that like me…you can do this too.