“It’s been a great year”…but

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As I look at my Facebook account this week, I keep seeing people posting the special year-end review entitled “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being part of it.” While I am sure these are very fun to make and I really do believe we all have much to be thankful for, a little pang of pain cuts each time I see one of these.

I agree that many good things have happened this year. The fact remains, though, that I just cannot claim that it has been a “great” year yet. There have been great moments, but moments are fleeting and often forgotten in the midst of walking through grief. Some might say that I am just being too sensitive and it is time to move on and get over it. I would like to help explain my point of view.

My first vacation since Alan’s death rocked my world was very fun. Who would not love a Disneyland trip with a good friend? It was something Alyce and I had planned for months and I am so glad we went. That adventure was definitely a highlight in my year.

Our youngest son graduated from college and a few months later got engaged to an incredibly wonderful woman. We are in the midst of wedding plans and looking forward to a marvelous celebration of uniting two lives next summer. Both of these events are undeniably beyond “great!” These are two special times in life that I have prayed about and dreamed of since giving birth to that adorable, blonde baby boy.

I have had the pleasure and satisfaction of finishing up my first book and sending it off to a publisher. Awaiting its arrival on bookshelves in stores is exciting, if not a little bit daunting.

The year held numerous opportunities to travel and see family and friends as well as opening my home to host fun times here. I realize how blessed I am to have a large family that loves each other and many friends who enrich my life in a variety of ways.

So you see, it has not been a bad year. Just the opposite, it has been full of accomplishments, celebrations and fun. Why then, does it still hurt me to see the posts of so many boasting that it has been a great year?

Because grief hurts. Will that pain end? I am not sure it really ever ends – but it does change. While I still hurt and miss my husband terribly (some days more than others) I can honestly say the pain is not as intense. That realization is what propels me forward.

The pang of pain I feel in doing life without him is not as overwhelming as it used to be. So while I still miss him; while I can still feel sad watching others enjoy life – I am also able to see progress in my journey and know that this life is getting a little easier to navigate. I can celebrate the small victories that sometimes still get lost in the vastness of grief.

So go ahead and post your pictures and be grateful as you state “It’s been a great year….” I will smile and be glad for you. I do not begrudge your joy at all! In fact, seeing it gives me something to look forward to. I can be certain that there will be a day you will see such a claim and post of my life too.

Until next time –

Karen

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