My husband and I were having a difference of opinions last week (some might call it a fight but we wouldn’t lol,) regarding our summer vacation. Nothing major and something we will certainly work through, but in the moment he was… driving me crazy. After our conversation, he went back to work and I sat down to text a very “vent-y” text and air my true frustrations, when suddenly it hit me (like a freight train.) Who do I think I am sending this text to? Heidi can’t get text messages in heaven. Holy bummer that knocked the wind out of me and forced me down a path of sadness.
Now first things first, I am lucky and have wonderful friends and family who I know I can talk to anytime. But my girl Heidi, she was my person. I could say anything to her, send her any “vent-y” text I wanted and I knew she would “get me.” There was no need to sugarcoat anything. She knew how I felt before I did. If I paused or hesitated too long she would say, “Emma, I know, just say it already!” In knowing each other so well we were able to provide a wonderful space for sharing, venting, and working through issues no matter how big or small, and I miss that…like A LOT.
The loss of Heidi has been a gaping hole in my soul, and I have been so present in that loss that this was the first time I actually forgot for a moment, she is gone. I think the ability for my mind to step away from the sadness, has something to do with the positive emotional steps I am trying to take. I know I should be happy, this is a step in moving through all of this, and I AM happy BUT, at the same time it allowed for this slip of the mind, and that sucked. I sat with the loss and started to feel sorry for myself. That didn’t feel right either, so I tried to force myself from this sadness by minimizing my feelings. “Yes I have loss in my heart but I need to think about others who have lost more. My loss is small in comparison to theirs. Right?”
Then I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this? I feel sadness, and this sadness is real and mine.” Everyone deserves to feel however it is that they feel. If we are suffering from loss: from loss from death, or a divorce, or a career, whatever it is, all loss is valid. There is no competition for sadness or comfort. No grief or sadness scale. Everyone is allowed to feel however it is that they need to feel. Now don’t miss hear me NO ONE is doing anything to make me feel like I need to make my pain smaller, I am doing it to myself. I thought that this would somehow make me feel better, but I was wrong.
I am learning that there is no defeat in owning my sadness, for me the defeat will come if I live in this dark space. I am working to find comfort in positive ways, while allowing myself to dig in and sit with the sadness. I need to own it, and understand it. For the sadness lives where there was once love. I am trying to do positive things for myself again: I am enjoying walking with my walking group, listening to podcasts, going to yoga at the Y, searching for sea-glass with my daughters, reading, getting out on dates with my husband, and enjoying an occasional wine filled gaggle girls day.
This is my therapy this is my positive space. In doing these things I can feel happiness again, but I can feel the sadness too. For a time I was numbing a little bit, not allowing myself to fully feel the sadness. It was too sad and I wasn’t ready. But I am ready now. I am so thankful for the love and support I have received that has led me here. But it’s still hard, and moving just a few steps back from the gaping hole is terrifying: “What if I start to forget her? What if things change without her?” I am learning that change is OK and necessary, and more importantly I will NEVER forget her, for she is a part of me. I can hear Heidi now “Take ‘err easy Emma. Drink the wine (with a few ice cubes.) Have fun. Oh and back to your vacation, your hubs is like all the men we know…annoying…but we love them! He will come around.” (I mean she was my person after all, I am sure she would have sided with me on this disagreement, obviously)
This new me is hard, I miss my friend but, I want to own my feelings and do the work. For the first time in a long time I can’t wait to see what changes are coming. I am not moving forward without Heidi, she’s buried inside my heart, and I know with all my soul she is rooting for me (and all of us), all along the way.
Until next time….
*This was originally shared on my personal blog page: https://storiesfromasoulsister.wordpress.com