I am typically not one to believe that songs were written, or meant just for me. However, the moment my husband passed away, it seemed as if every time I got in my car and turned on the radio, this one particular song always kept coming on. And knowing that the person who was singing it had lost his wife, I knew the significance of the song and meaning behind it. I also remember wanting to fight the words of it and every time I heard it play, it would just bring pain to my heart and my eyes would become filled with tears.
This song is called “Tell your heart to beat again” by Danny Gokey. Oh man was this song a painful one, for each time I heard it, it was like I was being told to move on, look forward, continue living my life. But how could I? I didn’t want to! I wanted my husband back! And if I couldn’t have him back, well, then I wanted time to just stand still so that it didn’t have to seem like I was moving on without him. Nothing really made any sense, and it just didn’t feel right!
And now as I look back so much has happened and continues happening. It’s like I am being forced to move forward whether I like it or not. My house had plumbing problems, and now I am left with having to clean things out to make way for repairs to be done. That is, wall repair, new paint, new vanity, and new floors. And it just seems crazy having to face and deal with all of this without him.
But I also know that based upon that song, I wanted something to remind me that moving forward is healthy, and is something that he would desire for me. And so as I pondered it all, I began to take some steps. Such as, on the 1 year anniversary of his passing, I took off my wedding ring. And then knowing that I had gotten a full sleeve tattoo already on one arm in honor and remembrance of him about 6 months ago, I decided that I would begin covering up some work that I already had on my other arm. Only this one would be for me. And so a couple months ago it began. The first one was of Edward Scissorhands. This was just because Johnny Depp is one of my all time favorite actors and well, this character would cover up what I already had pretty well, and it did.
But then just this last Friday, after waiting for a couple months for this next appointment, it was time for the next one. Only this one would be of a heart. A heart that would have a crank on it, and would be a reminder for me, to ‘tell my heart to beat again”. This is the completed heart that is pictured here. It took about 6 hours and yes, was pretty painful, but truly doesn’t even come close to the pain I have been experiencing because of his passing. But underneath this heart was an eight ball tattoo from about 25 years ago, and honestly, I never thought i would be able to have that one covered up. And now that it is, it has become a double blessing for me.
And I realize that each person has to grieve in his or her own way, and not everyone will view tattoos as part of the healing process. That however is not the case for me. I received my very first tattoo when I just 15 and have always liked them. The only thing was that most of them never had any true significance behind them. And now since my husband passed, the ones I have gotten do. And yes this arm is not yet complete yet. There is still just a little more areas that still need to be covered up. However, I won’t be going full sleeve on this arm. No real need to!
But in an attempt to take those small steps forward. I also made another commitment to myself. That once I had the heart on my arm, I would change my statues on Facebook from married to widowed. And so just this past Saturday I made that change. Yes it felt kind of weird, and I still am not in a place to even indicate that I am single. But I am coming to a place of accepting that the reality of grief being a process. A process that most definitely is different for each person. And that there is not a “right” or “wrong”way, because the process is unique, different, and personal for each person. And one that can only be traveled in a way that is suited for the person traveling it.
I do pray however, that my journey is able to one day help and bless others. I do know however, that my journey is still a work in progress. But as long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and placing my complete trust in God, progress and healing will occur. And I know that one day, my heart will beat again.
~ To Be a Widow