Why is it that just when you think you have your life neatly organized and figured out, that God or fate or karma or whatever decides it’s time to throw a monkeywrench in it?

Looking back I can honestly say the six months following Michael’s death were crap. Total crap. I was miserable, my husband was mostly miserable. I was floundering, emotionally. Because there’s no guidebook, road map, brochure, or even sucky GPS directions for how to navigate the days of grief. The days leading up to Thanksgiving were the breaking point, but then things began turning around. I’m still, achingly, not pregnant, and still, heartbreakingly, not a mother… But over this last month I finally started having a handle on life. I got brave and took on new projects, I threw myself hard into the creative side of my life, and it tided me over through the awkward interactions and the daily difficulty of Life Without Michael.

In short, life began to make sense again.

Then today, ugh, today. Someone I know let slip that they were pregnant.

And oh my. Talk about feeling completely blindsided, like I’ve been kicked in the gut when I’m down… I was completely and totally unprepared for the vicious onslaught of emotions. Feelings I thought I had finally managed to file away in their proper spot, thoughts and reactions I had convinced myself were safely sealed away in their airtight Tupperware — all. came. bursting. to. the. surface.

I’m sure I turned white as a sheet. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears and see spots in front of my eyes and those are physiological things that never happen to me unless I’ve been physically stressing myself by running flat out after a loose cow or something. WTF?

It’s not like I haven’t been around pregnant women before. It’s not like I haven’t been around babies since Michael’s death. I’m okay. Those things don’t hurt anymore. Not like this. I just can’t figure out what the trigger is this time…? Why was this casual information so much harder to swallow?

It was a challenge to keep my cool and not be awkward, but I did it. I think I navigated the questions about whether I had kids or had been pregnant before with tact. Maybe not finesse, but tact. And for that I’m proud.

But afterwards I admit I bawled.
I sniffled through evening chores.
I crawled into bed and slept for an hour.
Then I got up and bawled some more.

The only thing I can think is that at least I’m getting it all out of my system.

But — what the Hell, God?!?!

Another friend of mine put it best, I think: “Sometimes figuring out grief is like a drunk blind man leading another drunk through a maze.”

Blessings Jar

There’s this photo that’s been floating around on Facebook detailing this little DIY project: a jar you fill with notes about all the good things that happen to you during the year, which you can read on New Year’s.

I like it.

Last night I made myself one, and decided to start writing my blessings early. After so much darkness in 2013, I am going to challenge myself to write one good thing that happens each day.

Here’s to 2014!

Goodbye 2013, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!