Today I’m supposed to write about my mentor in grief and how they’ve encouraged and inspired me.
I can’t do that because I don’t have one. I have read books by people who have survived devastating grief. I’ve talked to people who are going through it as well. But I haven’t had someone to mentor me. I haven’t had someone that’s been there to help me through the horror of it all.
I’ve had to be my own guide through the maze that is catastrophic emotional injury. I’ve had tons of people to hold my hand for a moment and encourage me but almost none of them understand what this is like. I’ve had to find inspiration in other ways. I’ve had to rely on myself.
I’ve been mostly alone in my grief, a sideshow in other people’s lives. A tragic figure that everyone feels sorry for and is secretly glad they aren’t her. I know, I’ve been there, too…before all of this. I remember seeing other Army widows and being so thankful my husband was alive and that I wasn’t one of the ones grieving. So, I do my best not to be angry at the people who feel like that about me now.
I’m doing my best to find the love, help, guidance, support and understanding from wherever I can. I’m learning that I’m alone in this journey and I need to find a way to be okay with that. My counselor and I talk often about finding a way to stop being crushed by the disappointment and hurt that comes with being alone most of the time.
I’m learning to be my own hero. I’m learning to be my own inspiration. Little by little, step by tiny step, I’m finding my way through the pain and grief. There’s no marked trail. There’s no “right” way. There’s just whatever way you can find.
I’m thankful for those who have held a light for me when I was lost in the darkness. I know there will continue to be those moments and people. I’m also learning to be thankful for the moments when there was no one here to help me. It made me have to learn how to help myself. So many days almost ended with me choosing not to continue. But every day I found a way to hang on.
I’m only 8 months out from the death of my person. I’m only a few months out from being a ghost, in shock and barely surviving. My journey has just begun, really. I’m not giving up hope that I will find a healthy, well adjusted mentor who understands this journey I’m on. Until then, I guess I will continue to guide myself