I no longer fear death, I fear living

When your spouse dies, you yourself no longer fear death. I fear living this life without you. I fear living with constant reminders of what I have lost.

In fact on certain days I wish for death.

I am a smoker, for twenty plus years I smoked and now I vape. After my husband’s death a family member suggested that I read Allan Carr’s book to stop Smoking. This specific family member put great emphases on all the health benefits and how good I would feel if I stopped. With all the good intentions, I don’t think that they realise that I don’t care or rather let me put it this way, I wish the next drag will kill me.

In a strange way smoking and cigarettes also became like a security blanket. It was the one thing in my life that has not changed, everything else was in a chaotic mess. When with constant nagging I went cold turkey and stopped, I nearly had a mental breakdown. Well truth be told I had a mental breakdown and after a online consult with my psychologist quit her as well. It was mentally a very dark time for me and the first time ever that I contemplated suicide.

I was in a strange country and I felt all alone. Although I was staying with family, they continued with their day to day routines and I was just there. Like an invisible extra cog on a wheel.

Death changes everything, time changes nothing. Grief is a journey, some days its easier, other days its harder. Every morning you wake up and a fresh wave of grief washes over you, because you are once again reminded that your person is dead. It doesn’t stop, a smell, a sound will remind you of them. As you do grocery shopping you see their favourite food on the shelf and the grief hits you like a wave.

During the last year and a half I have heard a million times that I am so strong. Strong is not the right word, I am brave. With limited choices, I was brave enough to face each challenge and overcome it. It was not easy, it still isn’t. Everyday I am brave enough to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed. Being brave, means I face each day, no matter the hurt in my heart.

I am proud of myself for going from 20 cigarettes a day to vaping. I know I should stop, but not now. Now I have to save all my energy for getting through each day, there is no energy to spare to change an established habit. I also try to celebrate every small victory, because each and every step leads to a bigger victory. Even if you take five steps back and six forward, at least you are moving. It’s too easy to just stop, to not get out of bed, to not get dressed.

I hope that where ever you are and which ever stage you are at, that you will realise how brave you are. That you will give yourself a break and celebrate the small victories.

Tell me about your challenges and victories in the comment section below.

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