Grief, Stress, and Feeling Rudderless

Five months plus six days ago, life was good.  I felt safe and secure, cherished and protected by a husband who smiled at me with hearts in his eyes every time I walked into the house.  While money was not exactly pouring in, we had two incomes and could live quite comfortably, never really having to forgo a night out or a new pair of shoes, watch, or other small extravagance.  My career was very stressful, but knowing I would be able to relax in the evenings with the man who made me feel like royalty made it bearable.  Our time together was, (while not perfect... we did have disagreements...) meaningful, joyful, and loving. 

Then the unthinkable happened.  I awoke on the morning of November 3rd, 2014, to find my husband lying lifeless in bed, gray and unmoving.  In that instant, my heart, my security, indeed, my world, shattered. 

Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream

Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream

Since that day, I have at times felt adrift; a rudderless boat in a violent storm.  On the surface, everything is fine.  Underneath, I am trying to find a new normal- a new course, identifying what is important and beginning to live intentionally. Sometimes I feel like the man in the boat picture- alone, trying to stay afloat and steer clear of the hungry sharks while being buffeted by chaotic waves and being chased by the tempest on the horizon. 

I do know that the shore and safety are reachable, and there are rescuers in those who love me, but a few of the gales are meant for me to survive with my own knowledge, heart, wisdom, courage, and God's guidance.  Some lessons cannot be taught, only learned, and while I know my loved ones would strive to protect me from those, they are my own to bear and work through.

Positivity, love, creativity, and optimism have long been my hallmark traits.  They still are.  Grief, bereavement, loss, sadness, and fear of the future are also a part of me now, and I know I can work to incorporate them without damaging my body, mind, spirit or soul- breath by breath, step by step, day by day.