I overheard someone talking about being in a year of mourning this past weekend. A year ...
I have personally found the 'first year' anniversaries of anything in my life (good or bad), the ones that stand out most in my mind. For some reason, the thoughts "a year ago today .... " often cross my mind. I guess it's my way of measuring where I am at in my life. Am I going backwards, moving forward or standing still?
I love the years where I look back and celebrate the year anniversary of something that makes my heart sing. But somehow, even when I look back at the anniversary of something that didn't feel so wonderful at the time, I celebrate my survival and growth.
This past weekend marks the year anniversary of the end of the mourning period I put myself through when a long term relationship didn't last. There was a definite mark in time, where I literally packaged it up and chalked it up to a learning experience. The pain was gone.
It was an annual event that we had shared that I felt was special, that had me running for the woods last year. I allowed myself one last escape from the past before I forged into my future. I had to literally leave the city to put a physical distance from what I knew I would feel if I stayed so close. I ran away from the past ... but I ran towards my future.
The 'mourning period' prior to that landmark weekend was a process. Every step along the way was necessary to feel what I needed to feel ... talk about what I needed to talk about ... time to reexamine the past and understand it. The weekend I ran away, I ran to a cousin and I poured out my heart one last time. We talked about our past and our present. She was newly married and it was having a glimpse at the future life she was building ... that opened my eyes to the life that I had in front of me. I drove home in anticipation of the road yet travelled ... my future.
I think that a person has to allow themselves to feel and grieve loss. It is a process and the time it takes for each person is as individual as they are. It's something that can't be rushed ... yet at the same time, you can't lose yourself to grief. It's important to survive it.
A year ago today .... I felt healed and grateful to have climbed out of the abyss of my grief. I was finally in a place where I could look back and it didn't hurt any more. I still had my memories. Nothing or no one can ever take away those. I choose to focus on the positive and happier memories but I do not want to lose the lessons learned from the painful ones.
From this point on, my "a year ago today" memories are those of growth, happiness, peace and contentment. I survived the tough year. The first year. Now it is time to look beyond that year and focus on the path that lies ahead.