Another long weekend has come and gone, and I can not believe it’s September. I went home to spend the weekend with family, and as usual, it was memorable.
It was wonderful being able to retreat from school work after a long week of constant studying. The studying paid off, however, and I received an 85% on my first final exam. I have several more to go, but I am so relieved this one is over. Going back to school as an adult is hard enough under desirable circumstances. At one point in this journey, it seemed nearly impossible for me to be able to accomplish something as outrageous as becoming a psychologist. I am on my way; I won’t give up, and I now know that if I work hard and stay positive, I will get through this. Lord knows I have been through far worse.
A long nine months ago I witnessed an embryo transfer, resulting in the first time pregnancy for one of my best friends. It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced, and I was honored and blessed to be with Stacey that day. Going from seeing that tiny little embryo in a petri dish, to holding a healthy beautiful baby boy is an experience I can’t explain with words. He was born on September 2nd, and I am beyond excited to be a part of HIS journey called life.
While we are on the topic of a new life, I am proud and ecstatic to share that I have legally changed my name to Megan Roberts. This process was fairly simple with minimal paperwork, but it took almost six months to become official.
The first time I spoke about changing my name was early on in my grief, and I remember people asking whether or not it was what I really wanted or if I only felt obligated to change it as that was what I was supposed to be doing anyway. I respected those questions and spent time pondering my answers. I respected that although people wanted me to be happy, they also didn’t want me to make emotionally driven decisions.
But let me get one thing clear, sometimes under these types of circumstances, some of those emotionally driven decisions are the best and most positive life changing decisions that are made, and they have to be made so those who are suffering can move forward.
I knew I wanted to change my name. I remember getting off the phone with the court house while I was at work on Thursday, February 18, 2016, and saying, “I can’t wait to change my name to Roberts, no one will ever fuck that spelling up.” I remember saying that and practicing my signature on a piece of paper with a smile on my face.
Two days later, Nick was dead, and I was no longer going to be changing my name to Roberts.
My question to that was, why not?
“Dr. Roberts here we come”, is a text message from Nick that I will forever cherish because it solidified the support and encouragement that he provided and the belief he had in me.
It broke my heart when I read that message after his death, and I instantly made my mind up at that moment that I would be changing my name. I wanted to prove that this wasn’t an irrational decision so I waited over a year before I submitted the paper work.
Now that it is official and I am carrying a new name, I feel at peace and as though I have been reborn. It’s a new beginning, a new identity and a new way to carry on Nicks memory.
I know there are likely people out there who find this strange and can’t make sense of it, but I made this decision because it was what felt right in my heart. There are several people who choose not to change their maiden name even when they are married and others who change it without question. What I want to remind everyone is that whatever someone decides to do in their lives, whether it makes sense to you or not, as long as it makes them happy and at peace, no one else’s opinion matters. I chose not to tell a lot of people that this was my intention because I for one have made it clear that from here on out, if it feels right in my heart; I am going to do it regardless of what anyone else might think.
I tried to do many things for Nick through out this journey. Things that ended up being overpowered by greed and pure recklessness, and in my heart, this was the one thing I COULD do. This was one thing I had control over and the one thing no one could stop me from doing.
I forever changed the day Nick died.
I became a woman who would follow her heart and not allow others ignorance to change her direction.
I chose to walk this journey in my own way and at my own pace, and I reminded myself daily that only I could decide what was best for me.
The day Nick died, Megan Gosnell as she was; died too.
You will never be the same person you were before a tragedy and why would you want to be anyway?
This brings me to my next thought for today.
I have seen a lot of debates among widowed individuals relating to the saying, “everything happens for a reason.” I will admit when someone who has never experienced this kind of grief utters those words it makes me cringe because they don’t truly understand what they are saying.
But how could they?
I read so many blogs by other widowed people that are filled with frustration and anger. I get it. I am frustrated too when others are “reckless” with their words and don’t consider how I am sometimes feeling, but the fact of the matter is; it’s not their fault.
I remembered something I once said to a woman who lost her husband. This was a woman I admired, and her husband died as a result of cancer. I remember at his funeral I looked at her and said, “If anyone can get through this, it’s you.”
I don’t know if she is reading this and if she will know it’s her I am referring to, but when I think about saying that I think,
“IAM AN IDIOT.”
The truth is, I just didn’t know that those were some of the worst words you can say to someone engulfed in grief.
I just didn’t know. Perhaps I was being reckless, or perhaps I was just trying to make her feel better even for one second. I had no idea at the time that it probably made her feel worse. The ability to get through grief isn’t something anyone wants to prove or receive a medal for. It simply sucks. Just because I can possibly get through it doesn’t make it any more appealing.
I read a lot of blogs on the topic of grief, and the one thing that does not help me is blame. Blaming and anger have been two of my demons and it has not and will never be helpful for me. It holds me back, and it prevents me from feeling and experiencing the beauty that can come from all of the horror and heartbreak I have experienced. If you read some of my previous blogs from early on, you will see I have come a long way.
Many people in my situation will be uncomfortable with this, and that’s okay. I would never push one type of grieving instead of another, and I will never judge a direction someone chooses to take. This journey is only for the individual and all we can do as individuals is support one another as we move forward.
We are not moving on, and we are not getting over “it,” we are moving forward because going backward isn’t an option.
After reading many of the debates, I have read among widowed people I can’t help but ask,
“If we can’t even say the right things or share the right advice with each other, how can we expect those on the outside of our grief to say and do the right thing”?
To end my blog tonight, I want to remind you that we are all human. Yes, there are people out there who intentionally go out of their way to hurt others, but I want to believe, even after working as a police officer for almost ten years, that the majority of people are good and they mean well.
Here is what I know. No one has a right to judge, critique, or question the actions of others and like I have said a billion times before this, if you haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes, you have no idea what they are going through.
This topic does not stem from anything personal; it comes from what I am reading and observing from the widowed community. It’s truly heartbreaking that so many have to walk this road and if there is any way I can change the thought process of others to make it easier for everyone, I will do my best to do that.
As Ellen Degeneres always says, “be kind to one another.”
Meg Roberts <3