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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

There is No Separation

I expected grief to be sadness, to be heart-wrenching, to hurt
I’m not sure that I expected it to be so exhausting.
But it is.

Very much so.

In the past year I have become consumed with considering goals, tasks, opportunities and challenges in the terms of the energy they will consume and the energy they might return.

Some things are easy. When I am sad I don’t feel much like eating or sleeping. But it’s simple to tell myself I have to eat, have to sleep, because otherwise I will run out of energy.

Some things are harder to see. Does dating again, or forcing myself into social situations with new friends, single girlfriends and old friends give or take more energy?

Does cleaning the house at the end of a long work day give more energy ultimately than it takes? Does reading those extra stories at night to spend a few more minutes with my children give more sustainable energy that outweighs my exhaustion and inclination to rush bedtime?

Sometimes the answers are impossible. Sometimes they are simple.  Always, they are considered by my assessment, “Is this giving me energy, or taking energy?”

It’s funny how such intangible things--time, energy, sadness, happiness, hope--become the staples of your daily contemplations when you are a widowed woman walking. But they do.

I wondered for so long about the kind of energy I wanted May 29th to have--the kind of energy that I would give that particular date. How could I carry the one-year-mark of Trevor’s death in a way that gave energy instead of took energy?

How could I find hope and happiness in the horror that we have somehow made it through the first year without him, and that now there are only more years lined up like soldiers behind it?

I knew that focusing on something that Trevor loved would give more energy than the energy that I could pour into feeling very sad on that day.

What I didn’t entirely anticipate was how much it would mean to me, how much it would lift my little family, to see so many of you take the time and energy to honor Trevor’s memory as well.

One of my very favorite poets,  Maya Angelou, articulated the following bit of wisdom:

I want everyone who hiked in Trevor’s honor this past May 29th to know that I truly believe that taking the time to get outside and connect with this beautiful planet gives you energy, that if you did exactly that as a way to serve my little family and honor my angel husband, you truly gave us a gift of energy, love and hope.

Your social media posts and texts with pictures of beautiful vistas and words of remembering Trevor turned what could be a very hard day, into a very beautiful day.

I can never thank all of you enough. I wanted to capture all of those posts and messages in once place for a record for myself and our children and for everyone else who misses my main guy. This blog is that place, and I’ve listed all the hiking images that I know about below. If you take a moment to scroll through them I hope you will feel the energy of love, honor and hope in each post--in each hike.

There’s a lovely saying I came across on grief and nature:

“If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk, is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.”  

This past Sunday the separation between Trevor and his family felt smaller, the separation between friendships felt nonexistent. There were so many of us doing something with such a similar purpose--that kind of energy is truly remarkable--the kind of energy that means so much me as it is spent honoring a great man, the kind of energy that continues to sustain those of us he left behind.

Thank you so much for such a beautiful gift.

My kids and me hiking for their Daddy - Ivie is rocking a shirt with Dad's "Never Give Up" slogan, I'm wearing a pair of his hiking shorts and Liam is wearing a t-shirt Trevor wore when he was Liam's age.

We had a great group gather to hike Cress Creek - from family to friends, this show of love and support means so much to me. 

After hiking I took the kids down to visit their dad's grave. Ivie had requested orange flowers (because she knows it was Trevor's favorite color) to put on Trevor's grave. Liam wanted white and blue. 
Sweet Ivie also collected lots of pinecones to leave at her dad's grave. 

1 comment:

Desi said...

So many beautiful tributes, for a life well lived.