…… good, bad, fun, boring, happy, content and downright horrendous.
The thing about seasons is …… they come around again and again, though you never know when to expect them.
Or …… what special effects they’ll bring along with them.
And most times …… you don’t know how long they’ll last.
But, I think I can tell you, with some authority, that the bad seasons …… you know, the tear and snot-filled, cold and black, grief-filled seasons …… get shorter and shorter.
Just so you know.
I’ve been in one of those negative seasons for a few months now, though I only admitted it yesterday. The further out I get from Jim’s death, the more it feels like I’m not allowed to have a bad season. “Holy cow, it’s been over 7 years now …… and you’re STILL grieving?!” “Good grief, aren’t you over this yet?!”
“Why aren’t you dating anyone?” “Why aren’t you doing anything to get yourself out there and dating.”
I really have no answers to questions like these. Not nice, polite answers anyway.
Overall, my life is good. Often great.
But there’s always a caveat there, and most people don’t understand that.
My life is great …… as great as it can be without Jim.
That’s a fact.
Or, as I used to tell my kids, “It is what it is”.
I don’t choose to have that missing piece of my joy.
And I can’t replace it. With anything or anyone.
We all know people who’ve tried …… and failed.
Thankfully, for me, I also have God.
Not that He’s always been one of my favorite people (I’m sure He could say the same of me!), but He’s always been there.
Even when I didn’t feel Him.
Most days I can praise and thank Him.
Even when I don’t feel like it.
There’s always something in my life to be thankful about.
Just as there’s always the missing of Jim.
But I had to learn how to choose to be thankful, and choose to praise Him.
It didn’t come back naturally after Jim’s death. And it took me a while.
But I finally reached the point where I could choose to just sit in my grief and let it stunt and rob me of the rest of my life …… or I could choose to start seeing the things/people in my life that I’m thankful for.
The funny thing is …… once you start feeling thankful for a few things, it kind of snowballs. Your eyes open to more and more good things in your life, in spite of …… so much.
So this is what I’ve learned: when the seasons come …… and they DO come …… I need to just sit in them for a bit, let myself feel them, and see if there’s anything new in them. Once I let myself feel them and just “be”, they slowly start to fade. And that’s when I can choose joy.
Not 100% of the time, though ……. I’m no angel and I’m about as far from perfection as one can be. But I’m a work in progress. Sometimes the progress is painstakingly slow, sometimes I catch on quickly.
I am who I am.
And it is what it is.
Grief. It’s not just for anybody.