Shifting my personal thinking on this concept is like breaking out of a painful shell in which I have been cocooned for too long. Is it fear of feeling again and risking the gut wrenching pain of another loss? Maybe. Yet, if I am experiencing this, perhaps others of you are also.
I have made some temporary explorations outside this shell since the deaths of my son and husband. I connected with old friends, made new ones, bought two cars, bought and sold a home and published the first two books of my children's series. But, there was kind of a finality to the books because I dedicated one to my son and the other to my husband. I fear I have retreated back into my shell... just biding my time until I meet with Chris and Fred once more.
I think I am in my shell for my day to day activities and even social situations. I often feel out of place... like someone extra whose friends are kind enough to include her. This has to change. Yes, I have had losses which partly, but not totally, define me.
I am still a sister, aunt, cousin and good friend. I am a school nurse who has recently become an author. I am an independent, professional woman with an active social life and many caring friends and family. For these reasons, I feel blessed and grateful. Time to shed the shell.
My grief, even if not acutely painful, will always be with me. I must not let it hamper me. So, Dear Readers, I say to you be aware of being only a bereaved parent in your mind. It will take effort for me to re-connect with my total identity. It is good for me to examine this as a goal. I will pray for help in achieving it and pray for all of you.
If you are able to share your experience in feeling this way, too, please comment. I would appreciate hearing from you.
Peace and love,