by Jill Slayton, guest post author
Some time ago I came across a show TV about kintsugi. Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that is traditionally used to repair broken ceramics, or pottery with gold or silver, and lacquer. The broken items are mended in such a way that the cracks still show, but they have now become a beautiful part of the whole.
This is a metaphor for my life now. My heart has been truly broken by the loss of my husband.
Prior to this I kept my broken and chipped areas pretty well under control. I had to. I was the wife, the mother, the primary income for our household. I was the one who was supposed to be strong and keep it all together.
There is nothing like the loss of a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or best friend to fully break us. Regardless of what else we have going on, just knowing that our special person is still alive and in the world can keep us going.
When they are gone, it is like we have lost the gravity to tell us which direction is up and the oxygen in the air. Time stops, our heart stops beating for a moment, and we float aimlessly in space.
When gravity comes back, we come crashing down, and our hearts shatter. There is no magic glue to put us back together, and contrary to conventional wisdom, time does not heal all wounds.
I have realized that all my efforts to keep up, hold together, present a good face have been time and energy wasted. Sure, I had responsibilities and you can't come apart at the seams all day, but this insistence on being he strong woman left me very alone and exhausted.
Instead I could have been connected more to friends and family. I could have shared life with them and lessened my anxiety and pain, and perhaps helped them do the same.
Now I am. That's it. Cracks, brokenness, shiny beautiful parts all out there. All of it makes me who I am and like the Velveteen Rabbit, I have become real.
I now wear a beautiful kintsugi necklace that I got from A Kintsugi Life. It is made of purple dragon veins agate. It is a tangible sign of my new life and it makes me feel good to wear it.
Jill Slayton was an ordinary woman—a wife and mother. She works as a nurse. She likes to read, walk, sing, go to church, and do crafts.
Her ordinary world fell into the rabbit hole on March 9, 2019, when her husband of 22 years died suddenly. She really thought she'd know what it would be like to be a widow. She'd lost grandparents, in-laws, her father, and best friend. She didn't think it would be that different, but instead of being able to grieve within her little world, her entire world has changed, and she is not going to get the old Jill back.
Sharing her grief has helped her start discovering who she is now and maybe it will help others who are struggling to navigate through this as well. Read more about Jill and her grieving process on her blog at A Journey Through Grief and Beyond.
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