The short answer: I'm okay.
The longer answer: Well, I have some good days, some crappy days, and some okay days. I've been getting out and staying busy, and that helps.
I went painting and to Derby Dinner Playhouse last week with a friend,which was a lot of fun.
The even longer answer:
Well, here's how it is: you just keep going, going, going, and you have a few good days, and you stay busy, you go out and have fun and laugh...but it's like you can only do that for so long, until you just can't anymore. Until you just have to stop and let yourself feel the pain you're trying to ignore. And you just want to crash, but you need that person, you need to crash into their arms and rest and not have to try so hard. Because living life without them is hard, it’s exhausting.
And the other thing is that you can be thinking you're actually doing okay and then, grief comes in and it's like, "sike!" Just kidding. And it just hits you. It's like you're floating in the ocean on a beautiful day, and you're enjoying the sun on your skin, when out of nowhere a huge wave comes and crashes over you, and suddenly you're underwater, and you can't breathe, and it hurts. But then you surface, and you get back on your float, and the ocean is calm again...until the next wave comes. And the thing is, you can never anticipate when that wave will come or what the intensity of it will be. Sometimes, it's just a gentle wave that you can tolerate, and other times it's the one that is so strong and hits you so hard that you don't know if you'll make it above the water again...or if you even want to.
Some days it feels like I'm getting worse instead of better, as time goes on. I mean the initial shock and heart-wrenching pain is not as strong as it was at first. I don't lay in bed or on the floor of my closet and cry for hours....now it's just an overlying, constant sadness-a sadness for the man I miss, for the life I used to have. As I continue on living life, there are things I keep wanting to talk to him about and go to him for, and I can't, and that just really hits me sometimes...and it can make you feel really alone at that moment, because you just feel like you have no one. Well, at least no one who "gets you" like that person did, or who you actually want to talk to about those things.
And sometimes when I think about life before last June, it feels like, did I even live that life? Was that really me? It feels like centuries ago. I guess because that life was separated by Matt's illness and decline over the past year and with me becoming his caretaker and everything, it's like I had two different lives. In the same way, I sometimes grieve two different people-the man Matt was before June 2017, and the man he was after. The man Matt became in the last 6 months, wasn't the same man I married. So sometimes I grieve that Matt, and sometimes I grieve the helpless, weak and frail man he became in the last few months. But I loved him regardless, the man before and the man after, with all my heart and soul.
I haven't gone back to work yet. I just can't right now. I hope at some point I'll feel "ready", but maybe I never will, and I'll just have to force myself.
I've been spending a lot of time working on the book I've decided I'm going to write. The thing with me is when I get started on something, I get obsessive and can't stop! So it's consuming my life and my time right now. Which in a way is good, because it gives me something to do. But in another way, it can be sad at times. I wish that I could be writing this with Matt, and I'm mad that I never pushed him more to write the book he always talked about writing. I just want to do his story justice, and our story justice. I fall asleep at night with all of these images and thoughts swirling in my head.
It's also hard sometimes reliving all of this, not just the bad, but all the good things, too. I'm watching some of these videos that I've never watched before, and reading through his journal entries from Tough Enough, and I'm just reminded once again, of what an amazing person Matt was, how one-of-a-kind he truly was. He was such a strong, unapologetically bold Christian. He didn't care what was popular, or what was politically correct-he was unashamed of his faith, and if you didn't like him for that, he didn't care.
It makes me miss him all the more and saddens me that a man like that is no longer here on this earth, because we really need more people like that. We need more people who will stand firm in their beliefs and truly walk the walk, but with love and grace and kindness. Matt was the perfect example of that. All he wanted in his life was to live out what Jesus called us all to do, and that's to share our faith and reach others for Jesus.That is what this life is about. It shames me that I'm not as bold in real life as he was, but all I can do is pray for the same boldness and courage that Matt had, and hope that I can do better.
I don't understand why God took such a good witness-it seems the world would be better with Matt here...but who am I to question God with my limited view of things? I will keep clinging to my faith, even if I'm hanging onto to it by a thread on some days...