Today, I reminded the world (AKA Facebook) that my mood swings the next two weeks may induce whiplash. While I apologize for that, it was also a reminder for friends to not only understand what I'm going through, but for me to remember what I'm going through.
In just 13 days, 365 days will have past since I last held Ghon's hand. Since I last laid beside him. Since I last kissed his lips. Since I last tried to make him better, like I'd always done. But this time, I couldn't.
If I can't make him better, there's only one person left to make better. That person can be strong-willed, temperamental, needy, determined, weak, driven, and may operate without focus. She can build walls of protection as fast as she can tear them down. She often doesn't know what she's protecting herself from or why. Most days, she doesn't even know who she is.
But I know her. She's fragile. She's lost and afraid of being found. She's confused, she's tired. She will fight for what is hers, for those she loves, and for what she believes in - when she knows what that is. She is loyal; she is fierce. And stubborn. I can't forget stubborn.
There are days I'd like to throat punch those responsible for putting me on this journey. Not so much for my sake, but for me kids. They are doing OK, but grief rears it's ugly head from time to time, as expected and it's hard. I want to run and hide from every Father's Day advertisement, corny t-shirt or coffee mug, and father-son matching clothing. I don't want to insulate the kids and never give them opportunity to feel and remember. I want them to do it on their terms. Their grief is their love for their dad.
Any advice for when your child says they don't really want to look at a chicken leg bone, because it reminds them of how Daddy used to chew off all the extra pieces they left behind?
I didn't think so.
This mind dump though isn't supposed to be so angry sounding. Insert that whiplash warning again here.
Because grief is a journey, it is a process; I know we (myself, the kids, and those of you reading that knew Ghon) will be traveling this road for a long time. But I've felt change coming. Despite the anxiety brewing over making it through the anniversary, things really are getting better.
Let me pause and reflect on the mess of emotions one feels when saying that things are getting better.
Better doesn't mean I don't still love Ghon. Better doesn't mean I don't miss him. Better doesn't mean there are days that absolutely hurt.
Better means I'm surviving. It means I am working on saving that girl. Trying hard to figure out who I am instead of who we are. Better means most days, I manage my chaos than I used to. Better, means knowing that I have, and will, continue to live my life as I choose to define it.
This house. This massive house would have been filled by Ghon's laughter, by his anger, by his passion. His energy is still here. But it's not stealing pies from the kitchen window like he'd planned. The kids are begging me to either shoot, or let them shoot the groundhogs in the yard through my bedroom window with Dad's .22, just like he used to do.
Getting better and living my life - it's part of the process. I can't do the things Ghon planned. I can't do the things we planned. I have to make my own plans and do those. They may be originals or adaptations from our plans - but they are mine going forward.
Getting better is feeling slightly more confident in who I am.
Getting better is acknowledging that I may need help - and getting it.
Getting better is understanding that distraction and lack of focus is a coping mechanism and it too shall pass.
Getting better is remembering Ghon, telling his stories, and not breaking down in tears every single time.
Getting better is taking care of me for a change.
Getting better is tearing down walls so I can see who is on the inside waiting to come out. Tearing down walls that keep me living in the past.
Getting better is still making lunch on a Sunday afternoon, eating on the porch, and not freaking out that your husband isn't beside you - according to plan.
Getting better is taking selfies in the mirrors at Wal-mart again, because you know you looked that good today. (Seriously, she is vain some days.)
Getting better is looking at the field where you last took pictures, and it isn't as pretty as you thought it was.
Getting better is taking off the rose colored glasses.
For tonight, I'll feel, well, better. As for tomorrow, I just have to wait and see. Live with minimal expectations. Let the life that is to be, with the memories I'll always have, carry me forward. Can't promise I won't kick and scream or cry some days, but I'll keep moving forward.
This girl is too stubborn; too fierce; not to.