I wrote these words a few months ago and debated about sharing them because the emotions were raw, and fresh, and I was afraid of hurting people that I love… but as I reread them with a different perspective I feel that they explain so many things that I can’t put to words. I pray that if we are friends, you don’t take them personally and that if you are dealing with grief, that you realize it is okay to have moments when you don’t recognize yourself anymore.
These days it isn’t uncommon for me to be in a room full of family or friends and feel completely alone. To feel out of place, like I don’t belong and trying to figure out if I still fit there. I remember the past and wonder if I will ever feel as comfortable in the present as I did then. These places used to be so easy with Ben by my side, but now they just feel empty and I forget what it is even like to belong. I know deep down that I can never go back to that same place of comfort, but I long for it more than I can stand most days.
My heart hurts for my single friends, but I feel like there is no pain like the loneliness that comes after loss. If the long days at home with our three children weren’t a big enough reminder, climbing into bed alone every night would be. It’s quiet even in the midst of all the noise. And this isn’t the way it was supposed to be. There is no one tangible person to rely on, to provide constant encouragement, or to put their arm around me when I need comfort at the end of a hard day.
I’m incredibly thankful for friends who have tried to fill the void, but it is a void that many days feels impossible to fill. It’s an emptiness that overwhelms me and makes me long to crawl back into bed each morning and pull the covers over my head. I long for the passage of time to when the ache is less, as though a few more months or weeks would make the pain easier to manage.
I question my every decision, my every choice, and my every prayer. Some days I don’ t know if I can trust my own judgment anymore and there is no one to turn to for insight who does not have their own biased opinion about what I should do and how I should do it. I prayed to not go to this dark place of loneliness, but I find myself here anyways and unsure of what to do here.
And in the midst of all this pain and loneliness, I find myself begging for the Lord to calm my insecurities and fears and bring me everlasting joy. Some say you don’t truly know what you have until it is gone, but I did know what I had, and the pain seems greater still because I know exactly what I lost. I know it’s gone and I daily live with the reminder that he is never coming back. I can’t wish or pray him back here, instead I have to trust God that, “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b.
When I wrote these words a few months ago, it seemed strange for me to say I was no longer comfortable anywhere. But today I feel peace in realizing that it is okay for me to admit that I no longer find comfort in the same things that I have always done. And there is nothing wrong with saying that being in the same places no longer brings me the same comfort. Today I find a new sense of comfort in new places like I have never known… and with new friends that I don’t completely understand. My heart hurts that these friends never had the chance to know Ben, and that Ben doesn’t get to experience those new places with me. But I feel like a different person these days and they understand me in a way that people I have known for years don’t. I’m still learning who I am in this new season of loneliness. I’m learning what my life looks like after losing the love of my life. But I know that I am a new person who is trusting God to bring me to a new place, where I will once again feel comfort and peace with His arms wrapped around me and holding me tight.
**I still love every one of my friends and family very much… I just want you to know that I’m still trying to learn to navigate and understand myself and this place I am now… so if I act quiet or uncomfortable around you it isn’t because I no longer love you. I may just need a little more grace then usual as I figure out who I am in this new season 😉