8 Months – Life Learning

Last night I had trouble sleeping. A mix of topics floating through my head kept me flitting from idea to idea…keeping sleep at bay. Then I thought about the date. I noticed is was now the 7th. The day, 8 months ago, Jana died. I still vividly remember, and can walk through the hours, and the various things that happened throughout the night of the 6th and morning of the 7th. Those memories haunt me. But, I don’t stay there…not like I used to.

Dating is an adventure! I haven’t done a lot, yet, and currently the United States has self-isolated due to COVID-19…which makes dating much more difficult. Technology has allowed for virtual contact where physical closeness has been put on hold. Better than nothing!

I am learning about myself in these days. I have mentioned that grief is still present, just different. I have learned, and continue to some degree, to love Jana in a new way…a way that makes loving another woman possible. And, I look forward to further “lessons” along the path while getting to know somebody special.

Of interest to me, over the last month or so, has been how my grief is changing. Over the last several months, my pain level has been slowly falling. The intense feelings are not nearly as common, still present from time to time, but now somewhat manageable.

I was explaining to a friend how there are various “conflicts” at different places along the grief path that I have recognized. Currently, the conflict is between being happy with life and the illogical feeling of guilt thinking that I am happy things happened the way that they did…in order for me to be happy with life. Of course, I am not pleased with what happened, but this is an example of the irrational guilt that has surfaced throughout the grieving.

Last summer and fall, the conflict included the guilt feelings of having “happy” moments, moments of levity…when I should be sad. Now, the guilt seems to be shrieking, with it’s high-pitched, shrill voice, anything it can say to get my attention back to sorrow and depressed feelings. But, fortunately, grief has yelled so much in the last 8 months that it has lost it’s voice.

I have battled. I’ve fought with this thing. This struggle has been, and continues to be, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. God has strengthened me, supported me, guided me, and taught me. Like an unwitting super hero who is just trying out his powers for the first time, I feel like I am beginning to recognize the strength this season of life has created within me. And, I am not done…

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 1:7

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