My husband died February 2017.
A massive ruptured brain aneurysm.
His death was instant and sudden and just a few hours after he left the house yelling “goodbye” and that he loved us.
Eric was only 43.
I was 38.
Our girls were 8 and 11 at the time.
And it was really hard times…
But learning to live without Eric was harder.
I didn’t want to get up. Not out of bed. Not off the couch. I didn’t want to leave the house.
I was in a terrible dark depression.
That’s grief sometimes. And it sucks hard.
But I remember at some point knowing that I had to show up and be better.
I didn’t feel it though.
I didn’t want to.
But I had to.
I had these two precious beautiful girls looking at me, watching me. And it’s okay that they saw me broken. It’s okay that they saw me sad. It’s okay that they saw me struggle. And it’s okay that they eventually saw me smile and laugh again. It’s okay that they saw me stop smiling, stop laughing while I was in deep grief because I felt like I was betraying Eric.
How could I laugh and smile when my life partner wasn’t here anymore?!?
How could I?
But that’s all part of healing. It is. It’s learning to live with grief. And my girls needed to see that, too.
Eventually I wanted to start to be better. I had to… even if I had to trick myself. I knew that I couldn’t be in this deep dark grief depression forever.
Grief is emotionally and physically exhausting.
I wasn’t ready for that.
So while I would start showering every morning again, that’s all I could do.
I’d shower and put on my sweats again and walk to the couch. And there I’d be - not even with the television on - for hours, the entire day.
And I did that.
For a while.
Until I was ready to do a little bit more.
And then I did my makeup.
I added makeup to my morning routine.
And I realized that that’s when I started being a tiny bit more productive.
I cut a box of strawberries so they’d be ready to eat. That was the first thing I did that was ‘normal’ post grief.
Silly, I know, but I did it.
And that was all I did that day. I cut strawberries. And then I went back to the couch for the rest of the day.
And every day I did what I could. Because like I said, grief is emotionally and physically exhausting. I just didn’t have the energy to do any more some days. Some days I had more energy, some days I had less… but it was never what it once was prior to losing my husband. As I’m writing this entry, we are 2-years, 10-months post loss and my energy and concentration still isn’t what it used to be. That’s grief.
Some times days can still be hard, but most days aren’t anymore. I’ve done a lot of healing… time alone doesn’t heal - it takes time and heart work. You have to be intentional about it.
Makeup was a way for me to feel better about myself.
It still is.