So I am writing which means I made it through another milestone. How did I fare? It went okay. It actually gave me some renewed hope for what is sure to be an emotional holiday season.
Friday I attended the mass to commemorate All Soul's Day. The church invited us to bring a picture of our loved one and I brought the picture of Matt posted below. This was taken on the sunset cruise in Aruba. I have to say, Matt had the best picture. It was sad to hear his name read especially given the rest of the church goes who probably lost their loved one at a more "typical age". I had dinner with friends afterwards and it was a nice way to spend the evening.
The following day, I went to my Zumba event and it was great and I learned a lot! Afterwards I went to a mall in the suburbs I had never been to before. Living in the city, I love a good mall. It didn't turn out well though. The juxtaposition between what I was going through and the material consumption was too much. I made a quick exit and had a breakdown in traffic on the way home. Traffic just has that effect. And mostly, I could hear Matt wondering why the hell I had gone to a mall in the suburbs on his birthday. He would have shaken his head in disbelief wondering what I was thinking. Not because he cared that's what I had chosen to do on his bday but why I thought it was a good idea to go to a mall in the suburbs on a Saturday afternoon.
That's the thing about Matt. He never felt a sense of obligation to this or that or doing what the world thought he should. He was true to himself and did what made him happy. Throughout his bday I wondered what Matt would want me to do? He would want me to do what would make me happy. He wouldn't want me to do this or that because that's what I should be doing. He just liked to see me happy. God love him. I am so lucky to have this example in my life.
So today is 8 months (or it was when I first drafted this on Friday, November 9th). After preparing for last weekend, I didn't have the energy to agonize for another. Right now, I am thinking it's just another day. Eight months doesn't seem that significant but when I think about nine that means more than half a year, almost a year! As I mentioned, after last weekend, I am feeling a renewed sense of hope. I was able to more positively reflect on good memories on this milestone instead of being incapacitated like I was on our first anniversary. I enjoyed making a list of birthdays celebrated and focused on happy memories. I can't describe how much this puts me at ease for the holidays. I know they will still be hard but at least I was finally able to move past the horrible deliberating sense of sadness to reflect on the positive. When you are in the first couple months of grief, it's impossible to find or see. You are simply to sad and stricken to see anything but that. People tell you at least you had so many good times and you just want to puke and tell them I am not done with the good times! Again, I will still need to prepare and take it easy on myself for the holidays but they seem much more manageable with some warm memories amongst the sadness.
I have also been making some exciting plans for the future which has kept me energized and looking forward to each new day. More to come on this. I will also be hosting a Zumbathon to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association on December 1st. Please find all the details here http://hope.abta.org/zumbathon. Putting effort into throwing a successful Zumba event for the ABTA has been an excellent way to channel my energy and I can't wait to see how it all turns out! The support that I have received from family, friends, and students has been amazing and inspiring. Thanks to all that are willing to travel to this event and volunteer your talents. Hope to Zumba with you on December 1st!