A couple of days ago, I had to get up early to shuttle Allyson to her practice at 6am. I got up, just like normal, put on the outfit (shorts and a t-shirt) that I laid out the night before, grabbed my keys, and started my coffee… Then it hit me. I had not thought, specifically, about Jana yet. My day is consumed with thinking about her, memories, life without her, etc. But, for a couple of minutes, I simply felt the weight and exhaustion of grief, but I did not actually think about the one I miss.
Progress? If so, why did I feel guilty immediately after my epiphany?
I am learning. Learning to begin new things, new ways, and new thoughts. Nothing can actually be the way it was. The way it was is no more. I do recognize the minutes of thinking about other things as progress. It’s not much of my time that Jana is not on my mind, but it is probably more often than what I think…I just began to notice it.
When I’m tired and thinking cold
I hide in my music, forget the day
And dream of a girl I used to know
I closed my eyes and she slipped away
She slipped away
“More Than a Feeling” by Boston
Here is my trouble. I want to move forward, but it almost feels that progress is at the expense of my thoughts of Jana. This is not true, and I know that Jana would want me to be happy, or at least be able to find joy again.
I was praying, and thinking out loud while in the car the other day. I was thinking about my wonderful memories of times we spent and I angrily said, “Nothing can take those away from me!” Immediately, I realized my thought process. I was basically blaming God for taking Jana, and nobody would take my memories, too. I sheepishly, and quickly, recognized that I actually could lose my memories, and I thought better of my little tantrum, not that God would punish me somehow, but I realized things could get worse.
I regularly thank God for the special memories that come to mind. I am trying to thank Him first, then enjoy the memory. Sometimes, a moment comes to mind and I immediately feel incredibly sad, then I find it harder to thank God for that time and enjoy it. I miss her too much in that moment to be thankful.
In the coming weeks, I am going to do some new things. This week, I am taking a class and will stay in an Airbnb for a couple of days. By myself. In a couple of weeks, I am going to spend a weekend in Des Moines, by myself. These are times that I can begin new memories, new discoveries of self, and begin to “find” who I am. I am very familiar with “Chris and Jana”. That title is like a soft pair of comfy pants in the winter. But, now those pants aren’t there (ok, maybe there are better analogies). Anyway, my work includes figuring me out. And…it’s all new.
I can’t be guilty about or avoid “new”. In a book I am reading, the author described life as a song. My life with Jana was a beautiful song, that I loved. That song is now ended, and I am praying a new song, that I will also love, will begin. Both songs, or times in life, are wonderful and I hope to enjoy them. But, both songs are also completely different. The fact that I love the new song, does not take away from the fact that I also dearly loved the first song.