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That Second Year

That Second Year

So, this is my second year of being a widow. It has been challenging so far, I’ll admit it. Settling into a new, strange life you weren’t prepared for is not easy. There is definitely something to the theory that the second year is when the shock wears off.

Is it harder than the first year? It has its own feel to it and there is an emptiness to it that is difficult but no, it’s not harder. Not to me. I remember the unending pain and misery in those first six months. I am able to laugh and enjoy life sometimes now. How is that not better?

I remember that yearning that never stopped. That feeling of wanting to crawl out of my skin. That unending, aching wish that I could be with Steven. Now, I want to live. Even with these new challenges I’m facing, I want to live. I know how beautiful life can still be. And these new layers of depth that are there make it even more exciting…and yes, also sadder. But also, beautiful.

But wow, what a mixture. What a cocktail, this grief and emptiness and joy and zest for life. I’m ready. I’m ready to face all of these challenges head on. I’m ready to not let these things get me down. I won’t forget how short life is. Steven taught me that in so many ways.

That second year. Does it suck? Oh my god, yes. There is a lot of bitterness and coming to terms with reality that Steven will never come back. Am I still capable of hope, though? Absolutely.

I think I figured it out. The reason that second year is so difficult is because this is when we start to feel the walls of our cocoon because we’re not yet ready to be that butterfly we want to be. This is the pain of transformation.

We are leaving so much behind us but still stuck in a feeling of loss and unnerving inability to know which direction to go.

It’s a painful process and pushing through that pain is what is going to lead to more life and more joy. Boy do I want those. I want as much of those as I can get in the short time I have left. But I have to have patience with myself, even if some people around me are starting to lose theirs. Eye on the prize, Rachel. I am healing. Eye on the prize.

One thing I hold onto is that Steven will go with me wherever I am. He was with me in the cocoon and he’s cheering me on as I push against it and figure out how to break out of it to be that butterfly. That’s what keeps me going. And I will keep going, no matter what anybody else thinks.

“Nevertheless, she persisted.”


I love you, Steven. Thank you.



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