I don't like being sad. I don't like feeling down. I don't like feeling like I want to cry all the time. I don't like being depressed. I don't like grieving.
Grief is unpredictable. And that my friends, does not work well with me. Anyone who knows me, knows I like order and predictability. Not that my house is clean, or my life in complete order, but I enjoy living with the illusion that my life is pretty ordered. I detest the unknown. So I prepare. I play the "What-If" game lots. I like to think through every scenario possible and then I feel like I am prepared. I know, you are laughing. And well, no, it doesn't work most of the time, okay, hardly ever. Then I have wasted lots of time and energy on nothing. But it is what it is. Grief, comes in and tears that veneer all down. I can be going along feeling pretty good about myself and my life, and thinking how good I am doing about my sadness over _____(fill in the blank). And then BAM!!!! Out of nowhere Grief tears through my order and brings the chaos of sadness and depression. And sometimes the grief is over something I thought I had gotten over.
I had a conversation last night after dinner with Jack. We were talking about grief and how each of us was handling it and I asked him if it was possible that my grief was over for Stephen. The last two days I had felt pretty good and had a really good attitude, so I was thinking that maybe I actually have gotten through this better than I expected. Then Jack, ever the voice of Truth in my life said, "Grief is like the waves of the ocean. You stand with your back against the tide and sometimes the waves crash over your head and send you flying off your feet. And gradually for some, the waves get tamer and you don't get knocked flat by them as often. And for some, the waves just keep crashing."
Today I had an innocuous facebook exchange with an old high school friend. We were bantering about something inane and I used the word "ass". She came back with, "Wow, and you being a preacher's wife." I quickly wrote back, "Not anymore!" And just like that a wave came and crashed over my head. Just like that.
Me, grieving the loss of being a preacher's wife? Really? Seriously? Yes. That was the only life I knew. I am out here with no map. No built-in safe guards. I don't even know how to define myself anymore. This ties into Stephen leaving and realizing that in the very near future, I won't have the definition, "Stephen's Mom" or "Allie's Mom". In the sense that I won't be meeting people in that arena. I will be meeting people simply as KaKi. Who is she? She is no longer a teacher. She is no longer a preacher's wife. Who is she?
I am in the midst of lots of change right now. Change which brings chaos, grief, and adventure. I know there are positives, but right now, in my grief, I mourn my losses. The grief of not being a teacher anymore, still crashes over my head at times. The grief of not being a preacher's wife and the financial security (ha) that brought, still crashes over my head. The grief of not having Stephen in our home anymore, is and will crash over my head. How long? Well, it has been almost five years since I stopped teaching, although that wave is getting more and more tolerable.
So I am grieving, gasping for breath as the wave recedes. And I am left looking at the coastline. I see options there that I have never been able to look at before. There are adventures waiting for me. It looks scary, but then I notice something to my right. I glance over and Jack is standing beside me, reaching his hand out to walk out together. That is my constant, my North Star. I know that whatever the future holds, he will be there waiting for me to come up from the water.