Surviving Grief in Gratitude

I was clueless when I first started to write how my story would unfold and eventually help others.  It truly amazes me that I receive messages of gratitude from so many people for putting my feelings out there.

This morning I read what I wrote at the very beginning and I had to stop reading and put the papers away.  It is still that raw.  It makes my heart hurt. I was in shock.  On the day we admitted him to hospice I was unable to wrap my head around the fact that Larry would never walk out of the hospital and into our home ever again.

Then I found this memory from Facebook that Larry had written on March 2, 2011:

I am sitting out on the lanai digesting a wonderful dinner with Carole.  3 dogs, 3 birds, great music, good wine, and good conversation about our future – thank goodness we have one – and thank goodness for being head over heels in love and being loved head over heels back. – Lawrence F. Sanek

And I cry.

This morning when I wrote my morning thoughts on Facebook as I do every day, I wrote about finding blessings in our lives.  Many times, are hearts are closed to the blessings staring us in the face.

One of the biggest blessings I have in my world, in my current wilderness is that my heart is not closed, and I have had amazing people walk with me.  Some of these people I did not even know a year ago yet here they are and they carry blessings with them.

I am certain people wonder about me.  They call me brave; they call me strong; they call me resilient, and they call me a friend.  I am a friend; I agree with that assessment.  Brave?  I am not always brave but I am determined.  Strong?  I cave and when I do my strength is replaced by tears that I have cried for hours.  Resilient?  Yes, I am, I bounce back, I fight back, I get it done.

You see I have always been this way, and it has helped me walk my new path.  I have always bounced back, I have always looked for the good, I have always seen the glass as half full and when it is not, I refill it.

We all have faced grief in our lives.  We have all had many things to grieve in our lives.  We cannot avoid grief.  Truth happens, and I have written about this before, the truth is that the grief we have from a loved one dying will impact every one of us.  I just choose to pull the love, the positive, the beauty, the laughter, the joy and every other wonderful thing out of 20+ years out of my memory bank and I allow all of this to wrap around me and hold my heart gently.

Yesterday I read an article about how the sudden death of a partner in life can throw us into PTSD.  I was diagnosed with this and with great therapy and ART (Accelerated Resolution Therapy) I have exited out the other side and walked into more sunshine in my wilderness.  In fact, the craggy sharp rocks that have bruised my heart have been replaced by sunny fields and I always see Larry there ahead of me letting me know how well I am truly doing.  I banish the rocks.

I thrive.  I refuse to only survive.  THIS is what Larry would want for me.

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