Sometimes I close my eyes, and I’m there again, in the apartment we once shared. The room is small, with wood floors, a white couch, and books neatly arranged along the shelves. The air is still. It’s just me there, and I can feel the beat of my heart, hear the sound of my breath.
It’s times like these that I realize that grief never really ends. For me, grief has been like a tide, ebbing and flowing — sometimes with greater and lesser frequency, but always there, always returning.
In these moments, I remind myself that it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to feel sad and to remember the things that once were. Grief is a sign of love. And at the end of it all, what are we meant to do in this life if but to love, to grow in it and in spirit?
In moments like this, I’m also reminded that some bonds are hard to break, even across time and space. Loved ones are with us in different ways. Sometimes this fact can be painful as we consider our loss, but on the other side of this emotion, perhaps there is also a comfort that we still remember, that we still love.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also find my book, Grieving the Loss of a Love: How to Embrace Grief to Find True Hope and Healing After a Divorce, Breakup, or Death helpful.
It’s strange how time passes — how after the unthinkable occurs, life goes on. The sun rises and falls. Flowers bloom. Trees rustle in the wind. There is an eeriness to it and in the beginning it is tempting to stay lost in this space.
There is a light within you. No darkness can overcome it. Sometimes this light is loud and vibrant. Other times such as in places of grief and loss, it is quiet — silent almost. A thread.
It’s different for everyone, but for me, grief was like walking through the valley of a shadow of death: a place where I walked and walked with seemingly no hope — just darkness and shadows and the faintest of light.
I never thought much of dreams until last year when I had one with Brian in it.
It had been a year since I had last seen him. And though he had since remarried and moved on with his life, it didn’t change the fact that he had been such a large part of mine. The loss was hard on me. I felt it each day.
Bipolar can be such a devastating illness. It can be a difficult monster to defeat. It is deceptively beautiful at times. Thoughts come so fast that they overwhelm you. Emotions are so beautiful you are moved to tears. Creativity abounds and you’re filled with confidence.
I've been busy working at getting my private practice up and running. I leased an office and applied for a business license. I've been working on my website. Days go by quickly and it feels as if time is very limited. I haven't ever felt this way before -- purposeful, intent, excited for what the future might bring. It's funny -- after having a manic episode and going through a divorce, things like this have greater meaning. I had to survive the depths of bipolar disorder in order to make it here today.
After my divorce, the future seemed very uncertain. Suddenly, there was no longer an anchor to my life — no familiar structure or plan. There were many possibilities, but it felt as if there were almost too many — I could start a new job, move to another part of the country, go back to graduate school. The possibilities were endless and overwhelming.
After my divorce, I didn't love less; instead, I found that I loved more. There was a dark period in time in which I wrestled with demons. I saw all my flaws. All the horrible mistakes I had made. I had spent so much time caught up in the material, tangible things in front of me that I had failed to realize the truth until it all came crashing down on me. When my life fell apart and I was left with nothing, when it was just me in the dark, peeling back the layers of my life, wrestling with God to please kill me now, suddenly, only truths remained: that there is meaning in life and it is love.
I've been thinking a lot about hope lately. Before my diagnosis of Bipolar, I thought of hope as an emotion that people experienced erroneously or sometimes, even tragically. But after my diagnosis — after losing my marriage, identity, health, friends, family, and life as I knew it — I began to understand that hope is so much more.