about the men i love... for the girls that are my world.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Letting go

I'm not always a very spontaneous person, and I don't always have a "go with the flow" attitude. Ok, to be fair and completely honest, I usually like to know the what, when, where, how and who of the happenings in my life. I'm trying to be less controlling, I really am. I'm trying to let go. To let go of what I cannot control. But it's hard.
After Brian was killed I felt like so many things in my life were taken from me. Of course, the obvious, my husband, my best friend, the person I loved more than anything and was my entire world, was gone. I felt like every aspect of my life was changed. Everything I did, it just wasn't the same. I couldn't bear to be in our house, because everything I looked at, reminded me of him. I tried to go back to work, in my mind it was one thing that I could still do. The "pathetic excuse for a human being" that took my husbands life, took almost all of my life too. But he couldn't take from that from me. It was one thing that could stay the same. But guess what, it wasn't. I couldn't stand to work in the same hospital and same building that Brian had died in. I felt like I was completely losing control of my life. I couldn't enjoy things, because if I couldn't enjoy it with him, then it wasn't worth it.
In time I learned to realize that the harder I tried to hold onto things and control them, the worse it was. I became much more deeply rooted in my faith again, and really tried to give my problems over to God. He would take the burden off of me. And He did. But I had to be the one to let it go, to give it up to Him. That's the hard part.
My worry and anxiety sometimes gets the better of me. Because, if I let myself, I will worry about EVERYTHING. I worry about Derek the second he walks out the door. (Especially when he's walking out the door at 8:30 pm with a bulletproof vest velcroed on and a gun on his hip.) I worry about the kids, what if something bad happened to them? I worry about myself. What if I got hurt or sick, and I wasn't able to be here for the ones I love the most? I used to have the ability to be a bit naive and think "what's the worst that could happen?" Well, after you've been in the situation where 'the worst of the worst' really did happen to you and you've lived through your worst nightmare.... You tend to shift your thinking. Instead of thinking "it won't happen to me", you think "it can happen to me, because it did." Sometimes, I worry about the decisions I make, and sometimes I care way too much of what others think.
 I attended Police Week in Washington D.C. for the first time since the year Brian was honored. And what an experience it was. I'm not sure if I thought since it had been 3 1/2 years, that it would be easier, or at least I would be able to control and handle my emotions better? Boy, was I wrong. On the contrary, it was almost the exact opposite. Strange as it seemed, I felt a stronger and more profound impact of the week's events on my heart.  Looking back, I don't think I was able to fully grasp the totality of what was happening the first time around. I can think more clearly now, about what really happened to him, the shock has worn off.
I desperately tried to control my emotions. I don't even know how many times I said to myself under my breath "pull yourself together". I should have just let the feelings come. It was another sign of proof to me that grief comes in waves like the ocean. Sometimes the tide is high. I am learning to let go of trying to control it, and just let it come.
God never fails. He provided just what I needed that week. I was able to spend time with my dear friend Paige, and to make new friends with other women whom I had such a connection with. I was able to help them, and they were able to help me. I also will never forget God placing me exactly where I needed to be during the candlelight vigil, meeting a great group of people from Maryland. Thanks to a Sheriffs Deputy Capatin named Jack, who took a chance teasing me, made me laugh, gave me all of his Kleenex, and ultimately reminded me why I was there. I felt a sense of relief that it's ok to be sad, it's ok to hurt and to cry. They asked me about Brian, and about Derek, about Natalie and Kate. They made me feel normal. I don't think they will ever know how much that meant to me.
This summer we spent time out at the lake, like we always do. It's comforting and a little bit heart wrenching at the same time. I love to be there with my family, to make memories together, the kind of memories that will last the girls a lifetime. I also feel a wealth of memories and emotions when I'm there. Memories I made with Brian, starting about 10 years ago or so, along with new memories with Derek and the girls. Nothing can ever take those memories away, nothing. And, I realized even more, the importance of living. And surrounding myself with the people that love me the most, Derek and the girls, our family and our friends.
Henri Frederic Amiel said "You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: Make use of suffering."
Therefore, I am trying even harder to let go, to let go of my efforts to try to control my every emotion, of trying to be superwoman all of time time, to let go of my (almost constant) people pleasing mentality, and to just live. To live being the best wife to Derek, and best mom to Natalie and Kate that I can be. And by letting go of what brings me down, I will be holding on even stronger to the memories I have. To the memories I have of Brian, and all of the things he taught me; about being a wife and a mother. No one, and nothing can ever take that from me.