Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'Tis better to have loved

A lot has changed for me. It's all changed so quickly that it took me literally stopping and really looking back to realize just how different everything really is; how different I am. It's kind of insane. I've had to make so many huge decisions in the past couple of years. Decisions that would change everything. Now here I am looking back and wondering... how the hell did I get here? Not long ago my life seemed pointless - doomed. I was a new widow; a sad, lonely, depressed, widow who lost her only real love. Nothing was going right and my hope for anything in life or in myself was running out if there was any left at all.

Before that, I was the wife of a wounded Marine; a Marine who loved me very much but was severely effected by the war both mentally and physically. The war had left him torn and lost and in turn left me the same. Life was a roller coaster. Every day was met with new challenges. Some days the challenges were so large that my early 20-something brain just couldn't wrap around it all. We were very sad and, looking back, I would even say blinded by everything that was happening around us and to us. What I mean by that is that we were so focused on all the shit that we were oblivious to anything good in life. It's sad to think that we lived that way for so long. It's really sad. 

Now, I sit here looking around me unable to find anything "bad". The only darkness in my life stems from my past, which is slowly fading - slowly turning into acceptance. I've come to a point in my life where I feel I'm finally on track. I'm where I need to be and doing what I need to do. I'm surrounded by good people and good things. God, the universe, or whatever is out there has finally decided to give me a break it seems, and that is okay with me. I'm beginning to feel like I can breath again - really breath.

All in two years I have made numerous new friends, gone to a business school, decided to open a business, decided not to open a business yet and instead follow my dream of going to college first, went to college (A's!), fallen in love again (his parents love me...a pleasant change), moved back to my hometown (something I never thought I would do), became a mostly vegetarian (I eat meat if Nick's dad cooks it), and started writing a book. In between all of that I traveled all over the US sometimes for fun, sometimes to learn, and other times to teach about this life. All in all it seems the decisions I've been making are the right ones. I feel deeply content with the things I've done with what I had left after losing everything. I'm proud of myself for that. And I'm excited to see what happens in the next two years, and the two years after that.

Life is crazy. It's full of surprises. Sometimes it's mean and sometimes it's nice. I'll always miss Cleve. There will always be some pain in me because of my past, but I'm getting to the point that I'm ready to let a lot of that go. I'm beginning to realize that all of us hurt - all of us. I am no different than you, or her, or him, or whoever. All we can do is move forward. All we can do is make something out of what we have left and make sure our future is better than our past. That's all we can do. That's what I want to do. I don't want to dwell anymore. I cannot live the rest of my life dwelling on something that just is - or isn't anymore.

He was hurt. We hurt together. We loved each other. He died. I'm here without him now. I love him even though he isn't here to love me back. And that's okay. Because death is a part of life and one day I'm going to die and someone is going to cry for me. And now, two years after he died, I have love coming at me from all different directions from friends and family and my boyfriend. I need to continue to focus on them - living, breathing people who deserve my attention, too. I will never forget him. I couldn't. But I've got to quit living like he is going to come back, because he isn't. And it will be okay.

Life has been good to me recently. It's been so good to me. At this point I am just along for the ride.

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. - Tennyson

29 words of wisdom:

Family Of a Vet said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love this... and the place you're in... and the courage and tenacity you've shown and continue to show. ((HUGS))!

~Brannan

Wife of a Wounded Soldier said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love it! And I love you. I am glad to see you crest that mountain and coast down the other side.

Ang said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm proud of you. Really proud.

I don't really know you, but I've been reading your blog for a while now -- and I have to say admitting things like this is hard. It's hard to admit it, and sometimes even more hard to accept it.

Hitting rock bottom, and slowly building yourself up is rough, but this very feeling of looking back and essentially being happy for everything, the good and bad you've been through is so liberating. I can relate because I too, have been there.

Good luck with everything, and please -- keep this momentum going.

Katie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a great post. You've been through pain that no one should have to experience, and I'm so happy to hear that even with the tragedy you've experienced, you are happy and living life to the fullest now.

Sue said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm so glad you're starting to let it go. Keep living your wonderful life!

Colleen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Everyone deserves a second chance at life and love. You are wise beyond your years. God chose this path for your life and you are probably a much better person for having lived through it. You should be proud of yourself!

Melissa said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This post makes me SO happy! I'm proud of you, too! You've come a long way, friend and I love you!! <3

Nika M. said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So glad to hear things are getting happier for you. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers!

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Family Of a Vet

Thank you Brannan. Love you guys. <3

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Wife of a Wounded Soldier

Thanks girl. I'm coasting down to VEGAS FOR YOUR BIRTHDAYYY! :)

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Ang

Thanks girl. I really hope to keep it going. I know from experience that I'll probably go back and forth a little, but I really feel like I'm headed in the right direction for now. And that's all I can do, right? <3

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Katie

There's just too much life to live, my friend. I can't let it go to waste! I've just been blessed with a lot of goodness. I'm lucky.

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Sue

Thank you, Sue. I think I will!

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Colleen

Thank you Colleen. I am proud of myself, actually. It's nice to be able to say that!

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Nika M.

Thanks so much Nika. Lots of hugs to you, too. <3

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Melissa

Love you Melon.

Ayana said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love this post Karie; I'm so happy you are in a good place and I hope your future continues to blossom to depths far beyond your imagination! You deserve it girly!

Leo604 said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is life Karie! Even he is in heaven. He is still in your heart Forever. The Love is Forever.

karen said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love this Karie, and I love you. Cyberly speaking, of course. And I'm still here, keeping up with you ...

You know, when I found your blog I totally knew this (the above) was you. Easy to say now, but your spirit shone through even in the middle of the brutally hard times you went through. I think I first read this when you were visiting family for Christmas -- yep, that long ago.

I'm so glad that, despite the hard road you were given, you've traversed it with the style and grace that is so evident in your writing. Letting go is about accepting your life, as you are dealt it, which is the one thing that you have done 'round every bend.

I consider myself lucky to be a reader.

Now. If time permits, I want you to come and play with me. I've been doing a writing challenge that a friend started a couple of months (or maybe only one) ago. The prompts are small and fairly easy to bring to life. And it is a fun and supportive writing community. Please consider it in your quest to go forward. I'll message you the URL in FB ... <3 karen (vancouver)

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@karen

I love when I get your comments. <3 That sounds great! I'll be looking out for the message. Thank you as always.

The Farmers Wife said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So happy to come across this post on your blog. Cheers to happiness.
-Sassypants Wifey

Eden Connor said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Karie,

I too, have been reading your blog for some time. I found your site when I was doing research for a romance novel involving a Marine. I added your blog to my Google home page and for some time now, I've looked forward to --and sometimes dreaded--each new post.

Because, I've been where you are, every step you make, I've trod the path. My husband was paralyzed by medical malpractice. For three years, until he unexpectedly died, I stood the watch as he suffered, frozen in a body he couldn't move, but which continued to hurt. I never got more than two consecutive hours sleep at one time the entire time. Somehow, mostly by not allowing myself to look ahead more than an hour or two, I coped.

After he died, I wanted to crawl in the ground with him, but I had two kids to raise, and they were only 8 and 12. I was angry. Angry at the physicians, angry at him for dying. Scared, bewildered, aching. Lonely. But I coped.

I did a lot of the things you have done, I began a small online business into business, I went back to school, I eventually met a new guy.

My husband will have been dead eleven years in September. Looking back now on those first two years or so after I buried him, I realize I rushed some things, needing to feel something that wasn't pain or sorrow. I'm glad I did them, but even more glad I realized when I needed to let them go.

I turned back to writing, and I've dealt with some troubling people and events from that time by morphing real-life into characters and plot lines. My first full-length novel accepted for publication has a vicious--but accurate-- caricature of my former mother-in-law, and let me tell you, writing it was the best therapy I ever got.

I found once I got to the end of that novel, I could finally let it all go. I only revisit those days when you take me to them with you.

I'm posting to say this: I know the courage it takes to get out of bed some days, and I've felt every emotion you've explored on this blog. Some of your posts have been painful for me to read, but I've found them to be worth the ache. And I've been on the sidelines, cheering wildly as you've coped.

Shortly after my husband died, people asked me "Are you gonna be okay?" I thought then, "What's my other choice?" As you know all too well,people say some thoughtless things in those moments.

And yet, I'm gonna be okay. And so are you.

Bravo, Karie, well done. Survival's a bitch, and while life is the best teacher, you have to take the test before you can learn the answers.

I'm going to continue looking forward to each post. :)

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Eden, I'm so glad you commented. Thank you so much for taking the time. Somehow this just gave me a gigantic chunk of peace. I always hate knowing I have a connection with someone like this. At the same time, it makes life a little more livable knowing I'm not alone. So much of what you wrote sounds like it could come out of my own mouth. I'm sorry you had to go through the same pain. I'm so sorry.

It's interesting to me that you took up writing to cope. I really didn't write until Cleve was injured. I had a Myspace blog before that, but I didn't take it seriously. I began writing this blog regularly after his leg was amputated and eventually writing became a serious passion of mine.

Did you write before your husband's accident? Did you know you would publish a book? I would actually love to read the one where the mother-in-law is terrible. I think I'd find some evil joy in that. As you probably know, I've had so many issues with mine. Now we do not speak at all. And it's better that way, I suppose. It's amazing how many widows (most that I've met) have issues with their in-laws. I don't get it.

Anyway. You turned me into a blabber mouth. Thank you again for your comment and for sharing your journey. I'm about to click over to see if you have a blog. I hope you do. <3

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Ayana

Thank you beautiful Ayana. <3

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Leo604

Absolutely it is! Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. <3

Karie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@The Farmers Wife

Cheers to happiness!!

Eden Connor said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@Karie
I did keep a spotty journal. Mostly, I vented in it, and I envy you for having the technology to blog throughout your journey. I read a book shortly after my husband died which stated there were fewer than 100,000 widows and widowers under the age of 40 in the US. I found none to connect with. I knew nothing about blogging then. So, I felt isolated, odd and different. Dating was hard, mainly because the guys who asked me out were divorced, and they were bitter. I couldn't wrap my head around that oftentimes. My true love had died, and their conversations left me cold when they used harsh words to describe the mothers of their children.

I did set out to write for publication, once I began to write, yes. I figured if I had survived the previous seven years, I could handle a few rejection slips. Every story has a piece of me in it, and every completed one helps salve some old wound.

And in the irony department, my mother in law and I get along just fine now. She has Alzheimer's and hasn't a clue who the heck I am.

Writing is therapy. It taps your subconscious and frees up the crap clogged up in your head, that you have no idea how to process. once you get the valves open, I suspect you'll find, as I have, it's hard to stop.

chambanachik said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I adored this post.

Tabitha said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is such an amazing post, so encouraging and uplifting.

I know very well (as you definitely do) how easy it is to get dragged down by the crap in life and how hard it can be to see through the darkness. It's tough, and life sucks sometimes. But my biggest lesson learned was that life's positives can always outweigh the darkness; we have to choose which we see.

Glad to see that you chose the light :) You continue to be an inspiration.

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