Step Forward

I am a puddle. Deep and wide. Dark and thick. Light and playful. Full of reflections, memories, emotions, energy, offerings, scars. And H O P E.

I am getting married in a week. 

I'll get back to sharing my story up until this point later, but right now, I want to cherish this space I'm floating in...taking it in with the reverence it deserves.

As I sat on my therapist's comfy chair this morning with the weighted blanket strewn across my lap, I couldn't help but feel in awe of how far I've come. I began seeing my therapist about two and a half years before my late husband passed. That's almost 10 years ago. He's walked beside me through some serious muck and disaster.

As I shared a tender moment about some time with my two children this week, I felt the wave of emotions flow over me. It usually starts low in my belly and bubbles up like an invisible wave until it reaches my throat at which point I can feel my tears pour out releasing the pressure. It's not scary any more. Was I going to hurl? Was I going to pass out? 

Nope. Never happened. Just tears. And so now, I know that it is a physical sign (that mind/body connection thing I am so passionate about) of what's happening inside - physically, emotionally and mentally. I digress, let's get back to the tender moments with my little people...we went to dinner this week just the three of us.

As we sat in the twilight joking around, the dynamic was so comfortable. And comforting. And then it struck me. It wasn't always like that...I remember clearly how becoming three felt like a betrayal of what life promised. It felt perverse. Evil.

It took a long time to lose the shame and sadness that we were, not by our own choosing, only three. And to now feel comforted by it...I am in awe of the human spirit and the ability to persist, adapt and overcome. 

And in that same moment of solace, my mind quickly moved to the change just around the corner ~ we will no longer be three. I noticed a slight - the slightest - twinge of sadness which is utterly confusing. How could there be sadness when there's so much happiness on the other side of this equation?

In my experience, that is the utterly complicated and mind blowing gift of grief. It constantly and consistently invites us to step forward into the most intimate and conscious awareness possible, if we should so choose. 

Loving my soon-to-be husband is my next great body of work. It's a gift. It's healing. I am fully aware that I have released the shackles that held me closed off for so long. Connecting in a vulnerable way with Brandon is my next level living. 

Inside, the secret I've harbored since I realized I loved him and that I felt so bewildered by is that I know from experience our union is not forever in the physical sense. His presence in my life is for a finite time.  As is mine in his. YET, I step forward with openness, understanding, compassion, sadness, happiness, admiration, gratitude, devotion, love and awe. An iridescent kaleidoscope of my humanity. I choose to love now and for as long as I am gifted the opportunity. 

The life and love I had before is not eclipsed by the present nor what's to come. What I've lived awakened me. Inspite of it all, I am choosing love and connection moving forward into the next moments, hours, days, weeks, months and years to come. Fully alive and present. 

Grief is an opening to beauty. Out of the most destructive and devastating circumstances, we can rise. Never forget that.

With a happy heart,


Photo Credit - Denise Johnson