I made it safely to Shanghai! Ate my routine welcome meal via room service (either Hainan chicken and rice or braised noodle soup, and yesterday was braised noodle soup!!) and then passed out. Been awake for a few hours now and I can already feel that this trip is different than the other times I’ve come to China since you passed. The other trips were always my normal China routine when you were still alive; I come to China for work and then I go home. This time, I know that I’m not going home right away and taking some time off to go to Japan. I woke up missing the babies and the house terribly and was in tears. Knowing that this is yet another step towards a new world order where you are not here. I feel like I’m straddling two worlds right now, one where I can’t seem to let go of you and our old life, and the other is me consciously pushing myself to step out of my “comfort zone” and to start accepting that you’re never coming home and I have to start figuring out who I am and how I want to live this life without you.
Being that we’re two completely independent people, we’ve always tried to keep that delicate balance between “self” and “togetherness,” so I’m a little surprised at how I feel like I have no clue who I am since you passed. I didn’t even realize how my identity and perception of self has become so wrapped up with yours. It’s funny how we live life thinking we live our life one way, but only to find out we were completely wrong. Ever since you passed, I’ve questioned everything about myself and who I am. My confidence has shattered and I’m always scared of doing anything new or different from our old life (and you know I never had a problem with any of these these things when you were alive). I have to consciously remind myself that I can’t let fear be my boundary and force myself to do a lot of things to just keep living and moving on a daily basis, even if they are outside of “my comfort zone.” I struggle with being proud of myself for being able push myself to continue living life fully and constantly working on my pain and grief while being sad and upset and angry at you for even having to do any of this at all. I’m constantly a mixed bag of emotions, and I have no idea how I’m feel since I feel it all and most of the time all at the same time. How can one person feel happiness and joy while also being so sad and angry all at the same time? It’s a wonder I haven’t gone crazy or psychotic yet (maybe I have, and I just don’t know it!!) I guess I know why Sheryl Sandberg said in her Option B book, never ask a widow or someone suffering loss “how are you?,” instead ask “how are you today?” Because we never know how we are feeling from day to day (or in my case, from minute to minute). Just the other day, I was getting ready for work and was brushing my teeth and for no apparent reason I just started crying and couldn’t stop. I had no clue why I was crying and why it wouldn’t stop either! But I guess that’s just how my life is going to be for a while (or maybe forever from reading the widow(er) blogs and online support group from others who are still going through these emotions even 6 - 10 years after their spouse passed -- I guess this is what my therapist kept trying to get through my thick skull early in the process that the pain never goes away, it’s just pain management from now on).
All I know right now is that I don’t know what I am ready for or how I will feel from one day to the next, but all I know is that I can no longer live within “my comfort zone” anymore, even if I’m still not ready to let you go or say goodbye yet. I guess it’s time to start getting comfortable with living in the “grey area” as my therapist likes to call it where nothing is black and white or cut and dry and emotions are messy and doesn’t fit into nice, neat boxes that is labeled and organized. OMG - Konmari would probably go completely ape shit in this untidy and unorganized world that I'm currently living in!!
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.