It's almost three years. I thought grief held no more surprises for me. I thought I had it all figured out. That the feelings of sadness would ebb and flow but for the most part I had reached a plateau.
How wrong I was.
Grief sneaks up on you, grabs hold and shakes you when you least expect it.
Over the last year I have bought two houses - one up north to summer in and one near my home with John that I planned on moving into this month. Then I was going to sell the home we had together for the last twenty years. I had mentally divided the furniture up, deciding what was going to go into which house.
Yet in the back of my mind was a big doubt. I had dragged my feet regarding the house up north - I had never replaced the carpeting as I said I would, never installed a phone line or cable. I didn't even know where my mailbox was. I never bonded with the house. And it wasn't the house's fault. It's a beautiful house.
It just didn't feel like mine.
Same with the new house down here. I had measured every room. I had made appointments for the carpeting to be replaced, the handyman was set up to make the place safe for the kids.
And then Toby, one of our dogs, became ill. I took her to the vet this past Friday and received the news that she was more than a little sick, she was very sick. She might even have cancer and may need to be put down at some point soon. I won't know for sure until this coming week when more tests are done but I can tell by looking at her that she doesn't feel good.
And that's when it all came crashing down on me.
Friday I cried as if John had just passed away. I cried for Toby. I cried for me. I cried for John. My heart was breaking all over again.
And it was then I knew.
I can't leave this home. I can't move my furniture. I'm not ready. I may never be "ready" whatever that means. I need to stay here. I need my things. I need my things with John just as they were. It gives me security that I desperately need right now.
I have been running ever since John passed. I haven't stopped. Yes, there were reasons. Good reasons. I needed to take care of finances, I needed to take care of his Mom, I needed to settle her estate.
But all the time I was doing and rushing around and just plain running. I never stopped.
Now I need to stop.
I need to take care of Toby and I need to take care of me.
I know some people will think I am crazy for giving up those homes but that's OK.
I can just tell them it was my grief and I made some mistakes. They are just houses. They can be sold. No harm done.
What matters now is what is going on inside of me.
I need to give myself time and space to reconnect with myself.
I don't know how long that will take. It might take me for the rest of my life.
And that's OK.
I'm worth it.