Grief Makes You Do Crazy Things
I was reading a blog post yesterday by one of my fellow warrior woman leaders who I admire, and I had this eerie, sad thought:
“What happened to me? I used to write like that. I used to be full of wisdom and clarity and power and I spoke and wrote with insight and confidence. What the hell happened to me?”
And then it hit me: trauma happened. Divorce happened. Death happened.
And when I say trauma and death and divorce, I mean the loss of Vince, my partner of 8 years. Losing my husband, my best friend, my partner is like death. It’s traumatic. It’s more devastatingly painful than anything I’ve ever experienced in my 38 years as this human called Noelle.
Today marks 9 months exactly since the day he dropped me off at the airport in Dallas, TX. He was ready to move on right then, but I was in way too much pain to think of this as the final death of our relationship. I said, “We obviously have a deep connection. Who knows what the future holds? Let’s just take some space and time and figure it out.”
But he said, “We’ve had a great run, Noelle. Let’s move on. We’re both young and have a lot of life to live.”
And I’ve been on an intense, wild journey these past 9 months. So much pain, but also lots of exploring. I’ve allowed myself to go on whatever journey my heart wanted to take me on, and I held nothing back from the adventure. I dated and drank and danced and let loose all the wild parts of me that had been lying dormant for so long. But a few weeks ago, I woke up with a deep ache in my soul and realized I wanted to soberly face some of these longings that were still there in my heart for Vince. So I didn’t drink or eat much for a couple of weeks. I went back into my journals from our entire relationship, I read all of it, and I cried my heart out. And in the midst of this time of soul-searching and feeling everything again, the legal part of the divorce process was moving forward and everything left in me that was hanging on to the hope of me and Vince, came strongly out to the surface, to fight for us one last time.
And then he cut off all communication with me. And the only way I could deal with the immensity of THAT pain, was to pour my heart out privately on video. I recorded a whole video series that may or may not ever be seen by anyone. But it allowed me to say all the things I was feeling. I sat on the bathroom floor every night for a week and poured out all my feelings to him on camera. And by the end of the week, my heart was able to start accepting that maybe this really was the end. And the day I signed the divorce papers, I had peace.
The pain isn’t gone . . will it ever be gone? How do you ever not feel the pain of losing the person you built your life with? All my books, my album, all the songs I wrote, my online school, my journals . . he is a huge part of all of it. We built all of it together. So much of who I’ve become, was built with him.
I’ve often thought that in a way, death would be a little easier. Death would be less messy. Maybe people would understand a little better what I’m going through, if he had died. Maybe I would understand what I’m going through. Of course I’m glad he didn’t die. I’m just trying to express the depth of what this painful loss is like.
But I’m starting to understand now. It’s like we were conjoined at the heart. Our hearts were sewn together. And with this separation and divorce, it’s like open-heart surgery to separate our hearts. And for awhile, the hearts are bleeding. There are holes where they were conjoined. And this is what helps me understand why I’ve been a little crazy this year and lost a little of my ability to hear my own voice . . because when your primary guidance system is your heart, and your heart is bleeding and trying to heal, it’s not gonna be as strong for awhile. The messages aren’t gonna be as clear. You’re gonna have to give your heart time to heal and grow strong again.
This helps me understand why I haven’t felt like my normal powerhouse self this year. Why I haven’t been doing a lot of teaching and sharing on Coffee Time. I’m grieving. I’m healing. I’m rebuilding.
But the good news is, just around the corner, my heart is gonna be stronger than ever. All those places that I was attached to him, are areas in which I’m gonna be free to soar and fly like never before. It’s just a matter of time, and I’ll be stronger than ever.
Thanks for hanging in there with me this year. There’s so much good ahead. And if you have also experienced loss this year, I encourage you to allow yourself a way to feel everything. And most of all, to give yourself grace for perhaps the ways you have acted that have not been totally true to who you are. You’re in pain. You’re healing. Have a little grace for yourself. Good things are on their way. I love you with all my heart. Even when it’s bleeding.