This week the Monday Meme from Strawberry Singh was provided by her friend Winter Jefferson, and it’s relevant to me on a lot of levels. Strawberry is dealing with the end of a RL relationship that has left her heartbroken, and while it’s not quite the same as the loss I’ve been working through there are parallels, and I certainly feel for her. The meme this week asks us about what gives us hope, and asks us:
Take a few moments on your blogs or chosen social media to tell us about a time you faced your own personal nadir. When were you at your lowest point? How did you pull through and triumph to become the dazzling specimen of humanity you are today? When you reached out… who was there to help you back up again?
What gave you hope?
Well, for the handful of people who read this blog, you might guess that the lowest point of my life was the death of my husband three and a half months ago. It was the thing I had always feared the most, and even now I find it almost impossible to believe it really happened. Finding some sort of hope to cling to was extremely hard for me. I’d actually been giving this topic a lot of thought lately and had some ideas about discussing it on my dealing with widowhood blog, so I’ve left a long, rambly post there if anyone is so inclined. (Sometimes I wonder if I should somehow blend my blogs because I’ve occasionally thought of things that would fit on either, but that’s a thought for another day…) Here, I’ll summarize what I think is really the heart of it, for myself.
What gives me hope? Friendship. My friends have been the best source of support. Not one person in particular, each has played a big part in helping me get through this. Some are people I’ve known for a long time, some are friends I’ve never met face to face, we’ve only interacted online. All of them are equally real friends to me, all of them have held me up over the past few months and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express to them how grateful I really am. I’ve always been afraid I’m taking friendships for granted, and I’m often reluctant to reach out to others because I’m afraid I’ll just be a bother. But lately I’ve realized just how important it is to have that connection with others, to have people who are present in your life to hold you up and let you know they’re thinking of you. It always feels like every little note is a hug that helps me get through the day.
I pull myself through with music, with reading, with keeping myself busy with hobbies. I have spent three and a half months being on an emotional roller coaster that more often than not gets stuck at the very bottom of the hill, but sometimes it’s the smallest little things that make me smile, or make me really happy, or just give me a little hope about the future.
I find a lot of hope in the silly, fun things that make me laugh and remind me that I can still feel joy and be happy about something and look forward to things, that I can smile at goofy pictures, and fangirl like a teenager over musicians, and laugh at stupid jokes. I think sometimes people feel like they must pat my hand and be sympathetic and dignified, because the situation calls for being sad and serious. For some people that would probably be most appropriate thing to do, but I’m finding a lot more hope in the light, and the joy.
I still have a long, long way to go, but it’s gradually becoming a little easier to smile for no reason now.