What does a day on a calendar really mean? We remember dates, we hold onto them, and we make them mean something. Dates hold special meaning, some are happy, others sad. We celebrate them, we create rituals around them. We anticipate these dates with excitement or with heaviness, but how is one day so different from the day before it or the day after it?
December 19th, 2009
Just typing the date creates sensations in my body, pressure in my chest, pain in my heart. It’s gotta be the worst day of my life. The day my husband died. My body has a physical reaction to a date on a page. My mood worsens. I’m feeling sad. It’s a terrible day. But it’s not the day that creates all this; it’s what I have made that moment mean. The day everything changed. Terrible things. Sad Things.
Yet today it’s December 19th, 2014. It’s a different day. It’s a different moment in time. It’s not that day 5 years ago. Every time this date rolls around I transport back to the sadness of what that day means.
I realized that I can change what that day means. I get to set the tone of it. I get to choose my mood. I don’t have to live in the heaviness and sadness of what this day was 5 years ago.
December is a hard time for me, just all around. I think my body remembers the trauma. There’s a lot happening. It’s stressful. I have a lot going on, and I have to do it alone (but that’s just another story I’m telling myself.) Then it’s also the month my husband died, Christmas without him, then his birthday. So I know that December is a time for radical self-care. There is still some grief to let out, there’s some resistance to let go of. And that’s ok.
Yet here’s what else I believe.
I can focus on what I’ve lost, or I can focus on what I have. I had a great love story, that didn’t end the day he died. He’s right here with us, involved in our lives. I also believe I can have a better relationship with him now than I did before; I just have to look for him where he is not where he isn’t. He doesn’t live at the cemetery or in sadness. He is in joy and love.
I’m still here. I get another chance at this gift of life. I get to make it what I want and I’m making it great! I had a big wake up call about what is truly important and what is not. I choose to experience life, try new things, dabble in life. I think I have lived a more joyous life in the last 5 years of my life, even as I am walking through my grief, than I ever did before. Why? I had the life I always wanted; wife to the love of my life and mom. But I wasn’t living! I was going through the motions of life.
I have no idea how much time I am given in this physical state. I know what’s next is the reward, not the punishment, that there is a big party happening on the other side and that’s where we are all going. So I figured out what is important. I focus on what I want to do and have fun while I’m doing it.
Life will always be what you make it. Today on this December 19th I’ve decided to live in joy. Joy for how far I’ve come. Joy for the life I live. Joy for all that I have because I haven’t really lost anything. It’s just different and what’s awesome is it can be even better.