Grief is a Monster

Eudaimonia Tip #1 – When we are authentic people to ourselves, we are better people for each other.

Thoughts and emotions have been boiling in me for a while now. As I see the end of school in just a few short weeks I’m starting to panic a bit about all the time I will have on my hands. It’s exciting, but also terrifying to realize that I am on my own. Not the living alone part, because I’m well versed in that aspect of life, but the fear comes in my future, what I’m going to do with myself, my career, my health, and my heart.

How do I put the pieces of my life back together after this tragic and life-altering event that happened only a few short months ago?

In so many ways I’m starting over. I’m learning to live life again, and I hope I can learn to trust and love at some point. On the one hand, I’m ecstatic about all of the free time I will have as there will be no more papers, discussion questions or quizzes due every week. On the other hand I’m terrified that thoughts of my boyfriend will consume my mind. My fear is I don’t think I completely dealt with his passing, but instead put part of my grief on a shelf since I was so busy with work, school, and kittens. I went to counseling for three months, which in retrospect does not seem to be a whole lot of time, but my counselor assured me I was doing everything right to understand my grieving and healing process.

Grief is such a monster. There are so many variables it’s hard to know where you are in the process. First, there is the deceased. What was going on in their life when they passed? Did they cross at a grand old age? In the prime of their life? Or way before their time?  Second, the manner of their passing impacts the grieving process. Did they pass from natural causes, was it an accident, or did they commit suicide? Third, is the depth of the relationship between the one who passed and the one that continues to live. Was this person in your life daily, monthly, a close friend, or distant relative? Finally, there is the survivor of the deceased who has to find a way to understand the void left by their their loved one’s departure from this world and still go on living.

Here are my variables. My boyfriend was a distraught man who lied to everyone he knew and his lies caught up with him, which caused him to take his own life two months shy of his 46th birthday. We were working toward building a life together, but I found out some things in his life that made me question the path we were on. In all reality, we had a long road ahead of us, but I was willing to try to restore trust. Only, he didn’t see it that way. 

I don’t understand how I can have such anger at him for months at a time, but today I wake to miss him something awful. I thought my grief would end in the angry stage, but what I’m realizing is grief has no end. The profound change in my universe is that my boyfriend was my future and now he is not here. It will not matter how long he’s been gone; his departure will always be felt in some way. Most days, I’m assuming, will be spent in the angry phase of grief, but there will be days like today that I will have to accept the wave of sadness no matter how long I am under the water.

I know that I will come up breathing. I always do. I always find a way to go on. Now that school is nearly done, I will take this quiet time to fully understand my boyfriend’s role in my life and mine in his. I will continue on this bridge of acceptance looking to make peace with his departure, with the understanding that there will be days coming up that will be hard to get through. The best way for me to climb out of my grief is to cling to the eudai life and not give up on my future. 

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