Wow! The days are ticking away. This isn’t how I want 2017 to go! I’m in control of how I spend my time, whether I exercise, and what I put into my body. The truth is I kind of gave up toward the end of 2016.
I gave in while walking through grief because grief threatened to take me down. It came at me like a force I’ve never known, although we’d met before. It’s like meeting other boxers and then getting in the ring with Ali. When my boyfriend Kevin died in March, I couldn’t dodge grief’s blows.
I toughened up when I got knocked so hard I wanted out of the ring of life. It wasn’t an option. I had to give my all—or die. Even if I refused suicide, there are many ways to let go of life. You can let your heart shut down. Give up. Resign. Adopt helplessness and claim unfairness. Or just stop trying.
I’ve see that from women whose husbands died, or even divorced folks. Also, a man whose daughter lost her battle to Leukemia became lost himself, like the walking dead.
I swore I wouldn’t be like that, although everything inside me screamed: FUCK THIS!
How could I say that when my dead boyfriend said, “I love you, Icey. I’m here. I’ve got you.”? In the midst of excruciating heartache, he greeted me with love. I was lucky. Fortunate. Blessed.
Still, grief broke me. So, I hit my knees. I prayed to God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Mother Mary. I got close to angels. I felt my deceased mother’s presence, and of course, Kevin’s.
I also got my ass to yoga class. I clung to yoga like the strap on a careening bus while I tried to stand. Yoga and walking in the woods strengthened my body and kept my heart open.
Then, my yoga membership expired in September. Or maybe it was October. Anyhow, I didn’t renew it. I intended save money and do yoga at home. Yeah, right. Hey! I did yoga on my own for years. I also talked to Kevin every day for years.
Then, he died. I never cried so many tears. I even cried in yoga. But damn, he died in March. Now, it’s December. I feel I gave away most of 2016. Grief demanded it and so did I.
However, like a puppy who used to follow my every step and make a mess each time I turned around, my grief has grown. She no longer requires full-on attention. I can leave her now. Or, she can come along as my companion.
As the holidays arrive and the year comes to a close, I see my growth. I’ve come out of the hole. I see light. I have more energy and a new perspective.
I’m not naïve enough to think, Whew! I’m glad that’s over! (I wish!) Of course, I’ll cry again. Yet, 2017 calls me to rise—return to yoga, feed my body healthy foods, and make good use of my time.
First, I must acknowledge: I’ve been caring for myself. See, believe it or not, grief is a worthy endeavor—just not a fun one.