I had dinner Wednesday night with my friend, Barb. I hadn't seen her in a while and was happy to see that she's taking care of herself. Oh, she was wearing a "boot" because of a sprained ankle, and she showed me a bandage covering the stitches on her arm -- remnants of a nasty fall. But still, she looks pretty good. Her color was good, she's keeping up her hair, she accessorized her outfit -- all little things that indicate she's taking care of herself.
Which is good, because we're almost exactly at the one-year anniversary of her husband's death. And we just passed the two-year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis. Yet she is picking up the pieces. She is surviving.
She's packing up her home, the home they shared, preparing it for sale. It's very slow going, but she's doing it.
She got a new puppy, Lily. The puppy has had health problems, which has kept her busy.
She bought a new condo, just a studio, because even though she 's selling her home here in Chicago and retiring to Hilton Head, she still wants to retain a base here.
She sees a therapist every week.
But she still cries every day. She still misses him every day. She still relives the moment he died, his hand in hers, and she hyperventilates.
People tell her "to move on." I told her to tell them to go fuck themselves.
Here's the thing:
Her pain is hers. It is not like anyone else's. It is unique. She is doing the best she can.
And, dear reader, whoever you are, this is for you: your pain is yours. It is not like anyone else's. And if you are doing the best you can, you're doing just fine.
We're not mass produced. We're individuals. We're like snowflakes, no two of us are exactly alike. That means we each have our own story, our own pain, our own path to healing.
|Snowflakes for a humid August night.|