Finding purpose

It’s so weird that I am not only being surrounded by so much support after J’s passing but it’s almost like I’ve been reinvigorated. I don’t know why that’s happening and I almost feel guilty about it because I have this renewed sense of purpose after J’s death. If only I could have found this while he was still alive, maybe his life would have been easier.

My mom told me to think of it instead as a gift from him. Finding a new sense of purpose for my life keeps me looking forward.

But there’s no question that I am rising to the occasion and handling things on my own so well. My parents and kids and I had our last dinner together tonight and we all agreed that it was a fabulous visit. I’m sad that they’re going home, of course; I’ll miss them a great deal. But they said that not only was it wonderful to get to know my kids as adults, they were very reassured that I’m going to be okay.

Part of that is because my kids are going to help me and they see how competent they are. But part of it is also that they can see how resilient I am.

I have increased my spirit of generosity to people. I picked up the tab for dinner tonight for all 7 of us (including 5 of us who each got a beer or hard cider) and didn’t even think twice. My mom told me later that she was conflicted about letting me pay for it but she could tell (quite accurately) that I seemed to be doing it in a spirit of “mama’s got this.”

As I told her, it was between me and my daughter’s boyfriend, who formed a heart with the shape of his hands when I said I’d get the check. He has done a lot for us, including giving my parents a decommissioned laptop that he got through his job (saving them from having to buy one.) It was my small way of thanking him for his many efforts for us, including setting up the live stream of J’s memorial.

I’m looking ahead to grad school and feel very capable of doing it. And I may have opportunities at Christi’s company, which is a remote job on any shift of my choosing. It pays more than I would make even if I had J’s survivor benefits now. I am just trying to decide if I can do that and grad school because that sounds like a bit much.

I’m taking care of the kids to the extent that they need it (particularly getting Dylan to therapy and arranging for him to take drivers training.) I’m managing all the household finances well.

I told my mom that if they ever need a place to stay if their health declines as they get older, I’d be willing to take them in (though I know that for many reasons, coming here wouldn’t be their first choice.) The kids and I would have their backs.

It’s like I was so dependent on J for help before and I honestly thought I might not be able to handle everything on my own. But particularly as more time goes on, I seem to have found this new well of strength.

I don’t know why I didn’t have it before and that really troubles me a lot. But maybe it made J feel more needed. Or maybe I’ve just been renewed somehow. Either way, it’s good but also a little strange.

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