December has come, time for the holiday season, it’s a time when your excited to be with your love ones, spending time with friends at Christmas parties, laughing and enjoying yourself, watching the excitement and joy when seeing the young ones open up their gifts.
It’s a time of joy and a time for happiness, but as December approached I began feeling disconnected, grumpy, sad, overwhelmed and not wanting to participate. My excuse was that I was being cooped up inside, over stressed with work, things not going as to my plan. Then it hit me December 3rd was my scammer's birthday. It had been a year since I met him: he was suppose to be here by now. I was suppose to be in a love filled relationship and excited to be spending my first holiday with him. I was supposed to wake up everyday with the knowledge he would be by my side, celebrating not just the holiday season, but our lives together, our future.
I realized that it had been almost four months since I learned of my scam. I thought the healing process was over, the hurdle of my devastation, my emptiness, my sorrow and grief. I looked out at the make shift grave I made of him, the ashes I buried telling him my hurt, how my heart was broken, my tears I have cried over losing him, my unconditional love I had for him, my hopes and dreams that we were to share. And when looking at that place, I realized my grief was just really starting, only in a different direction, my emptiness not filled. How was I to get thru the holiday season with the knowledge he wasn’t going to be here? How was I going to put up a good face with the knowledge that there was still a void in my heart. I felt lost I feel lost, I felt everything all over again, the pain, the anxiety, the depression. It was just another chapter in my life opening up again, only this time it was Grieving.
I tend to think through things, if I don’t understand something I research, I try to find the answers that I seek.. How do you seek something that is no longer there? Will I ever feel happy again? Why is this happening to me? It’s just another twist of answers I seek, same as when I first found out about my scam, but now in a whole different light, it’s about coping with my grief, trying to find my happiness again.
In one way or another, we are all affected by death. Losses are inevitable and are ever present in all our lives. Death as that is what we feel after being scammed, a loss of our love one. Death is universal. Grief is universal. We all must cope with bereavement at some stage in our lives. Even though death can be separated into two categories, long-term illness and sudden death, the loss of our scammer, all death is sudden. The finality of death brings to those left behind a tremendous amount of emotional pain. Grief is not something abnormal, rather it is a normal and inevitable step in our journey through life.
Grief is defined as: 1. conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in familiar pattern or behavior. We as victims of scams have relied upon and expected our daily calls, email, words of love and endearment. 2. a normal, natural and painful emotional reaction to loss. What we feel after we have found out our one true love has deceived us is Grieving is difficult because it involves many intense feelings--love, sadness, fear, anger, relief, compassion, hate and happiness. We feel intense pain, disorganization as if drowning in a sea of painful emotions, the loneliness and emptiness is all consuming. Grieving is difficult work. We make plans for our future with them, we trust, we give our hearts and souls for them and then learn it’s all a deceiving lie. And now we are faced with the knowledge that we are back to healing, making plans for our future without them, learning to heal, learning to accept again we are worthy, we are good human beings worthy of navigating through our lives and through the journey of grief. We hope again, we balance the life we have now little by little, there is no time frame for healing we take each day for what it is and learn from it.
Death is like a great wound it leaves a scar. It may heal and the pain may ease but the mark is always there, the memories. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, we grieve in our own way, the most important thing to remember is: the object of our love and loss is no longer where he was before, he is now only a part in which we were.
I feel each of us was put on this earth with a plan already made up for us, each sadness, each pain, each joy, each love is a our journey in life. We may not understand at this time why we go through them, but we learn from everyone of them. As I write this a very good friend of mine is not expected to live much longer. He is 91 years old, has lived a good life, knew love and gave it freely. He had losses, he had triumphs, pain, sadness and joy. When I look back through the years I have known him, he made me smile, he showed me respect, courtesy, what a true friend was. I will miss him dearly, think of him often. When one door closes another one opens, and I have found this with my new set of friends here at SOTH. We may be all different people, different cultures, beliefs. But we all share a similar bond, a similar death. We all pull together to help everyone else out no matter how little or big, it all makes a difference.
So as Christmas approaches, I won’t put on a fake smile, I won’t ignore my feelings or my pain. I will take each emotion and learn from them, accept them as they are. I won’t push myself to pretend nothing happened. What I will do is seek the enjoyment from my family, take one day at a time, seek pleasure in the happiness of my grandsons, not feel ashamed of what happened but learn from it. Yes it will be hard and at times lonely, but I will find my happiness again maybe baby steps but I will learn to walk through this life lesson.
I wish all of you at SOTH a Happy Christmas, and a better New Year to come. It will come and by next December less pain, more fulfillment, happiness and the void no longer there. -- Verna