Strength

I know almost nothing about the Lord of the Rings, to be honest. I’ve never read the books and couldn’t make it through more than 30 minutes of the movie.

My husband and oldest daughter are big fans, though.

I decided to look up the distinction between Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White to try to understand what my daughter told me yesterday.

And wow, wow, wow. I am beyond honored and humbled to have that comparison given to me.

It’s kinda funny. All three of my kids see me as this person who’s really committed to growth and to making sacrifices for them. They hold my husband in higher esteem than me, of course, as everyone does. But that doesn’t mean I come in a distant second.

I still don’t feel that way. In my head, I’m still the same as the worst version of myself that I’ve ever been, even though according to my kids, that old version of me is long gone.

I’ll be honest: I’m struggling a lot with suicidal ideation again. I don’t think I can handle going through my husband’s death, at all. I think that’s why yesterday affected me so profoundly—it made it very undeniably real to me, in ways I couldn’t avoid.

I have to keep reminding myself that maybe my kids want and need me around too. It’s just SO HARD to keep going sometimes. Death seems so peaceful in comparison.

But I think my kids see my strength as a reason to go on themselves. (I know they do because they’ve told me or written it in cards.)

It just seems kinda ironic that to be seen as a pillar of strength, you have to keep going when it feels like you can’t.

I just wish for a life with only normal problems instead. I don’t feel cut out for this inspiration porn lifestyle.

6 Comments

  1. You are a good parent, they’ve said so. You’ve broken the cycle and they see it. You have much to offer them and others, even if you may feel you don’t have anything.

    Death seems peaceful and who can blame you? You’re dealing with a lot of prolonged difficulties, with little support that eases the anxiety, depression. It gets tiring to be “the strong one”, the pillar people lean on. Do you have a sturdy, steady human outside your immediate family who can be a wall for you to lean on? Is there a grief counsellor you see? Or friends who can understand and walk with you?

    I definitely wish you’ll have normal problems instead. “Inspiration porn” lifestyles suck to live, especially when gawkers don’t actually help in any way.

    We’re thinking of you. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you ❤️ Especially for saying I broke the cycle, that means a lot to me.

      Death does seem peaceful but I have to have a reason to keep going. I think that’s going to be my kids; they’re already going to have a hard enough time losing one parent.

      The other thing is believing I still deserve to be happy after losing my husband. That just seems so wrong and unfair.

      I do have a counselor and a couple of friends who fit that description. (Honestly, probably more than I think I do; I just hate to bother them.)

      You’re so right about being “inspiration porn” being a horrible way to live.

      Thanks so much for the support ❤️

      Like

      1. More than being there for the kids, I hope you find stuff to look forward to. It might seem silly, but people have held on for all kinds of stuff like a movie they’d want to watch, some goal on their bucket list. Pretty sure one of mine has been to attend a live concert by a band I love, as I’ve never done that before. It’s okay if none of that resonates, we’re in different life stages. I’m basically trying to say that death seems peaceful as it’ll be an end to the despair, anxiety, anticipatiory grief you feel (which is “normal”, and expected). But then with death, you will have nothing to experience. So what would you like to experience later in this life even when it feels impossible?

        You do still deserve to be happy even after losing J. However that looks like.

        My fiancé and I talk about what we’d like for each other if one of us dies first. Both of us have struggled with suicidality for many years and we feel our love “saved” both of us. I know I’d hope he finds love again. I know I’ll always have a place in his heart, and I believe there will be someone who’ll love him like a soul mate again, which would include respecting my place in his heart. Assuming I die before him. He doesn’t think he’ll find anyone. But he hopes the same as I hope for him.

        But even if not… even when it’s impossible to see any light at the end of the tunnel… that’s okay. It’s a very difficult time for you. It’s okay to reach out, it’s okay to need support. You are not a bother to the right people, although I do understand that “I hate bothering people” belief a lot. I’ve that too. We are interdependent, and we all need kindness from others (even when it’s scary to receive) when we’re hurting.

        There will be people now in your life or perhaps later on:

        “Some things cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. Grief like yours, love like yours, can only be carried.

        Survival in grief, even eventually building a new life alongside grief, comes with the willingness to bear witness, both to yourself and to the others who find themselves inside this life they didn’t see coming. Together, we create real hope for ourselves,
        and for one another. We need each other to survive.

        I wish this for you: to find the people you belong with, the ones who will see your pain, companion you, hold you close,
        even as the heavy lifting of grief is yours alone. As hard as they may seem to find at times, your community is out there. Look
        for them. Collect them. Knit them into a vast flotilla of light that can hold you.”

        — Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for sharing that lovely excerpt from that book. I’ll have to put it on my Amazon wish list to remember it.

        I do think I have stuff to look forward to. I want to write at least one book. I definitely want to see a lot more live concerts by bands I love, as that’s one of my very favorite things and I wouldn’t be afraid to do it alone if I had to. I even have books I want to read.

        I think the hardest thing is convincing myself I still deserve to be happy without him. But I’m slowly but surely getting there, I think. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Also, your worth isn’t tied to what you can give others. You deserve a life where you can receive the love, care, and support you’ve clearly poured out for others.

    You don’t have to answer these questions, maybe think about it one day.

    Borrowing from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy:

    What kind of life would you want so that you’ve no major regrets when 85?

    What are your personal values? Goals can change with life transitions, but your values are a compass.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely need to think about these things. As I just mentioned in the other comment, I have to convince myself there is life after my husband and he wants me to be happy. I do need to have some goals again.

      Liked by 1 person

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