Well, that’s what it feel like. For well over a year I’ve not gone to business events or meetings, attended church events, and only occasionally gone to church when Graham has felt up to it. Even then there were some times when I didn’t go and he would be on duty.
Losing Miriam really did take the wind out of both our sails.
For several months I acted like a mechanical robot and just did what had to be done to keep my business running but I did very little else. In fact I’m not really sure what I did with some of that time, however some months later my husband gave me a new camera for Christmas, a Nikon D90 with accessories. A very expensive gift but I think it was his way of making up for forgetting my birthday (Miriam died 2 weeks before then). Ever since then I’ve buried myself in photography, renewing a passion I enjoyed in younger years and learning how to get the best out of the equipment I’ve had. Many of you will have seen the results at my photoblog, or via Facebook or Flickr or even Twitter.
Last June my husband and I travelled to Canada together (my first time there) to attend FoVA and our month long trip around Canada and Alaska after that brought much healing and for the first time in 9 months we could just be ourselves as no-one we were travelling with knew our sorrow. For a little while we could pretend things were normal.
3 months after we returned we found a gorgeous new home (new to us, the house was built in the 1940s with additions in 1970s and 1980s) on a 2 acre property. We shifted in at the end of October and then had to endure one of Melbourne’s very hot summers and the potential for bushfires. We’re now in Autumn with beautiful colours in the turning leaves and rain and occasional thunderstorms. We are loving our life in our new home and property and I’m in a photographer’s paradise.
Over these months I’ve revamped my main website, my business blog, other blogs, started writing again, am researching a new book, doing a photographer’s course, added a new service to my business, gained some new clients and have started going out again to events. I feel like I’ve been reborn in some ways. Graham and I are even attending church again regularly now – I’ve been wanting to go for ages but he just didn’t feel like praise and worship when feeling the sorrow he felt. He’s now laughing again, bought a new mountain bike and is currently out exploring paths into the city (50km trip one way) in the hope of riding to work again regularly – he really does need the exercise and it does help depression.
Why am I sharing this here with you all? Because I want to let you know that if ever you have something happen in your life that drags you down or makes you feel like you’ll never be normal again, it’s important to give yourself time to heal, time to recover, time to experience all the feelings and emotions that you need to feel. And give permission to yourself to do something different and it’s ok to let go of things from the past if they’re not beneficial to you. Don’t feel like giving up things are breaking loyalties or obligations. Life happens – both good and bad. Just give yourself some room or if someone else you know is suffering, give them room too. Don’t expect them (or you) to recover in just a month, 3 months, 6 months or even a year. NEVER tell them to ‘get over it’ as I had someone tell me just 2 months after our daughter died. I could have slapped the guy in his face but we were at church and I don’t usually react aggressively to people. I hope for that man’s sake, he never finds out what it’s like to lose a child. For us it’s been almost 20 months. And most of all be patient. I’ve had to be.