Stories... Grief

I fully expected to be back here writing and sharing by the 1st of August. I figured our little curveball would knock me off homeplate for a bit, but that I would dust myself off and forge on with life.  However, this one stung pretty badly and it is taking me a while to find my orientation again. I feel as though I am walking through life with a slight concussion; I'm not really sure which way is forward. 

The life I have known for 40 years is coming to an end. We will be packing our boxes once again, only on the other end of the move I will no longer be a military dependent. At my place here, I have chosen not to write about this part of my life. For now, I'll put that decision on hold so that you, my friends, will understand my drama. We were given a choice... option A) be separated for a long, long time once again, or option B) quit. We chose to quit; although, in the real world that means we are retiring. 

I thought this would be easy for me. Last year my man was on an extended "business trip" (as I like to call them) and after more than half of our 21 years of marriage being apart I was done. Done with sacrificing our lives for others. Done with painting a smile on my face and bearing the burden of being a military wife. I was done wiping away tears from my kids cheeks, and done braving another year full of milestones and celebrations being shared over thousands of miles. So, when this choice came at us I thought it would be an effortless decision to make. But, when the military life is the only one you know, the only one you have lived for 40 years, saying goodbye to it feels like the sudden death of half of who you are. 

I have found that grief often brings me back to my roots. Grief forces me to establish those old habits, and rituals, that trace the edges of who I am. When I string letters together, and place a value on my emotions through etching them in ink, somehow the world tilts in the right direction. Writing is cathartic, it is a means to trace lines form one event in my life to another and somehow create a treasure map that is to be explored instead of tucked away and feared. 

And so, I enter a new season of grief, but I believe with grief there are two choices to be made. You can choose to hide that treasure map. When you choose this option you barry your treasure deeper and deeper, never fully understanding the full exhilaration of letting go of all the emotions that compound in your heart. Or, you can choose to boldly walk the path that lay before you unveiling each treasure as you come to it.

The treasure of the contentedness of reality, when denial is no longer an option.

The treasure of a peaceful spirit, when anger no longer courses every inch of your body.

The treasure understanding, when the bargaining no longer brings you relief. 

The treasure of acceptance, and true healing, when living is better than grief. 

I'll be writing more as I venture along this new journey. You can find all my stories neatly tucked under Stories in my drop-down menu. 

StoriesLisa Kernergreif