The other day I mentioned to a friend that I felt like I was chasing happiness, but it keeps slipping through my fingers. Grieving is hard and I often wonder when exactly will I have true happiness in my life again, or will I always be chasing it. As I started to really ponder my statement, I think it may not be just happiness I am looking for but peace. Since Tom’s diagnosis, there has been a constant level of anxiety within me. As his disease progressed, the level of anxiety increased. His death has raised my anxiety level even higher. Always feeling like there was a heavy weight sitting on my chest.
This week brought another first. It was Tom’s first Heavenly birthday. That was a tough day. We did what felt right to us to remember him, but there were tears shed in the quiet before bed as I talked to him. This week also brought a huge change for our home. On Tuesday, I had Tom’s hospital bed moved to storage and our king size bed brought back in the home. When the hospital bed was first ordered for Tom, I remember saying to him that when the king bed comes back, it won’t be because he got better, it would be because he had passed. He shook his head, acknowledging the different paths with ALS we would have. I have been dragging my feet about storing the bed. It was hard to say goodbye. That bed had become a part of him for 3 years. It had become a part of our bedroom. Again, in the quiet before bed as I talked to him, I cried. I cried for him and I cried for me. When our bed came back in to the room, it was hard. As I made the bed, I talked to Tom. I ended up staying up later than normal, because I was trying to delay sleep. But in the end, exhaustion won and I slept. Really slept. I woke up more refreshed then I can remember. I slept on his side of the bed because it felt right. It felt comforting.
As I write this, I have slept in the bed 4 nights. Each night, my sleep is getting better. Today as I have puttered around the house, I realized the weight on my chest seems lighter. While I still find myself crying in the quiet before sleep and often when I wake as I realize that Tom is really gone, I feel the anxiety starting to become less. Am I feeling some peace with the changes that have occured? I am now exploring how maybe it isn’t happiness I am chasing but peace. Maybe happiness will come once I am at peace with this side of ALS. I am a work in progress. I will however, sit and enjoy the peace I feel in this moment and the fact that the weight of anxiety is not pressing down on my heart.
All my love,