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A New Time

~"There is territory of loss only we can enter. ~Martha Hickman

I feel like I'm trying to make a transition from acute or short-term grief to long-term grief and I find myself struggling to find my place, again. I think the difference is that, with initial grief, people gather tightly around you, they travel closely with you. Life doesn't have much normalcy, the loss is out in front, the entire landscape of life.

Long-term grief is a regaining some normalcy to life and living. A time of letting go of that tight circle that is carrying you and continuing a more solo journey although not totally alone. I need a sense of normal in my life. I don't want to be the odd-ball-out, the grieving woman. I don't want my whole identity to be my loss. I want people to see me for who I am first, and my pain second. Plus, it is too much to ask of those in my life, to be still carrying my pain. The difficult thing that comes with this is I feel like it will be forgotten, I will be forgotten, Chloe will be forgotten. People will look at me now and see someone who appears to be strong and well-adjusted. Someone who has healed. This couldn't be further from the truth.

I know I still have work to do, I fall to pieces, I am shattered. There is never a day I don't feel it. The shock and feeling lost have left to a degree but still exist. I cry, I become despondent and detached, staring at ceilings, walls and floors. I lose my appetite, become irritable, want to disappear. I constantly work on regaining trust and confidence in life. I have bouts of anxiety and fear. I often don't want to be close to anyone as there is the lingering reality of losing them. I protect my heart. Life is work with moments of joy.

I am working to allow myself to be happy, to figure out what happiness means now, in this new context, and how to obtain it. I am becoming better at letting myself be in the moment, whatever
that means, knowing that a new moment will come.

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I don't think anyone carried me but for about two weeks. After that I was expected to make it on my own. All of us who've traveled this road know that is not how it works, that we have to learn our new normal, that we have to figure out how to exist with our grief and deal with our loss and pain. This is on a daily basis, 24/7, for the rest of our lives. We do learn how to adjust, how to cope, we are more resilient than we ever could have thought, and yet, that in no way alleviates the pain & loss. We just learn to live with it.

Happiness is another matter. It seems to me that it comes from living in the present and fully embracing what good there is in our lives. But it's more than just waiting for it to come to us, it takes concerted effort. It takes putting ourselves out there, interacting with others, knowing when to embrace solitude, finding balance, peace, and harmony. For each of us, that will be be individual. For me, I find happiness when I'm connecting with nature, wildlife, animals, beauty. But I also find it being with my sisters, my grown children, but those are special treats that do not come in my every day life. Sometimes I am at home and I just feel happy...it's usually fleeting, momentary, but there nonetheless, and I embrace it. It shows I am in harmony with myself.

Yes I still miss my husband, time does not change that. Sometimes I feel all alone, like there's no one that cares, and it's true that no one cares to the degree he did, but I have to remind myself of my friends and family and even though they get caught up in their own lives, they do love me. Life is very much before and after that one life changing event, the moment he ceased to breathe. I remember how happy I was before he died, never dreaming my life would suddenly change so drastically. But even though he is not here the way I'd like him to be, I've learned to live with just me, alone, and that's okay too. How long it took me to come to that place!

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Your writing is truly beautiful, my dear ~ coming as it does, straight from your heart. This particular entry speaks to the fact that grief is a solitary journey, one that we must travel alone, as we discover along the way all that it has to teach us. Still, grief gives us the opportunity to share our sorrows and find the support and encouragement that comes from being with others who are walking the same path. We have much to learn from one another. I'm pleased that you've found your way to this special place, so that we can walk with you and you can walk with us ~ and we all can learn together as we find our way.

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My dear, I notice that each of the posts you've entered in our forums appears already on your blog, so I'm not clear on what it is you are looking for from us. I see from your blog that you lost your precious daughter in a tragic accident, and I'm so very sorry for your loss ~ but can you share a little more about what has brought you to our site and what it is that you are seeking from us?

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