This is a difficult post to write because it’s a tender one. And a happy one.
Anyone who has suffered a significant loss, will understand the complication of saying you are happy.
I have had six birthdays now as a widow. All of them were made special by dearest friends. Extremely special. Plans that were simple or extravagant, always very personal, all involving cake and all arranged with love.
This year was a first. A very, big, slightly overwhelming, tender, fragile, amazing first for me.
This year was the first year that I could say, I felt happy without there being a part inside of me that screamed Yes But………….
Because as someone who has lost someone close, you appreciate everything so much more and find yourself saying that you are happy, while there is part of you yearning and holding such a deep rooted sadness. I had accepted that part of me would always be sad. I never expected it to go.
I would read messages saying “Have an Amazing day” and think yes, but truthfully, there is only one thing now that would amaze me and that’s David coming back.
I was wrong.
This was my amazing day – that this year, I did not have the “Yes, but ………….”
And I was shocked. Slightly nervous.
In fact I waited for something to happen to shake me into a realization.
Then the guilt arrived and the questions of did this mean I was forgetting? How could I ever forget such an incredible part of my life, of my heart?
It hit me – no – it isn’t forgetting. It doesn’t require guilt. Quite the opposite.
It is a powerful turning point in my life, where I can say I loved tremendously and life happened to change the physicality of what I had and now life has also presented me with the choice to live fully, with all the knowledge and experience I have and even more.
It is a step allowing myself the gift of laughter, of joy and love, yes love again in my life. To trust again.
The gift where I have said to myself that I love and respect myself and I’m ready to share that part of me with the world. Because of everything I have been through, absolutely everything, I deserve to be genuinely happy.
This may seem like a simple step for anyone who has not lost a partner.
For me though, it felt like stepping off a cliff with a bungee rope tied to my thumb, no, a bungee rope held with my little finger.
To admit to everyone and mostly myself that I am a loving woman living right now who is excited to be alive. To be busy. To have a voice. To share my words. To be growing and to be finding new opportunities.
To have found another hand to take and turn to and make plans with.
To say I love you and to welcome it in return.
I never thought this moment would arrive and here it is. I’m in it, fully present and fully functioning.
Nobody is judging me or punishing me for being happy, far from it and, most importantly, I haven’t lost anything, I have gained even more.
I always said there is no getting over or moving on – and I’m right.
It’s bigger than that, it’s a deeper acceptance that occurs. A stronger bond and connection that is so powerful that it embraces everything you desire, want and need.
So please, please, with all my heart – those dear tender people out there who are feeling their loss and the pain, keep turning that love back to you and keep the energy flowing, for it does grow into something else that you cannot understand or imagine yet. That you dare not believe yet.
I promise the “yes but,…….” can blossom into a YES THANK YOU.
Associate Director of Training
Lead Facilitator for TeamBonding & Quixote Consulting
Jayne Hannah has received training in the emotional intelligence and 5 Dysfunctions model, with a passion for effective communication and is certified to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Jayne emigrated 16 years ago to the U.S. from London, England. She has been facilitating corporate programs for over 20 years and always leads with her heart. She is a passionate writer for the stage with productions being produced across New England and a founding member of the popular Blue Cow Group in Providence, Rhode Island. Her full length stage play “Stalking” enjoyed a preview this Summer by Counter Productions. She is currently co-authoring a book with writer Linda Pestana, as they lead the way in health advocacy for care partners and patients with life altering illnesses. “Life is a privilege and each day an opportunity to explore how we may do more.” In 2012 my husband died at the age of 57 of early on set Alzheimer’s, after an 8 year illness which began with cancer. The loss of the love of my life was profound and I have reached a stage where my corporate work is now spilling into what I want to be my mission. To support, guide, inspire, perhaps, most importantly, to share and support others throughout their journey. I was lost so severely at times, and Christina’s work was invaluable. I want the loss of my David to equal something to be proud of and that his soul can help others, as he indeed helps me, every day.