We measure our lives in time.
Seconds, minutes, hours.
Days, weeks, months.
Milestones are celebrated.
A child walks, talks, starts school.
Graduates, marries, becomes a parent.
Life is a continuous celebration.
Until we experience loss.
Of a child or parent.
Someone isn’t here to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.
Times of celebration become bittersweet or sad.
Someone said grief is love with no place to go.
But love can always be shared with family and friends,
And most of all, with yourself.
Grief should never stop the celebration,
But instead, enhance it.
The pain of loss never ends,
But the celebration of love and memories
Makes it bearable.
And makes you smile.
Photo by Max Beck on Unsplash
I’ve learned a lot since May 30, 2019.
I’ve learned that grief cannot be rushed, that you don’t wake up one day healed.
I’ve learned healing and closure are myths. Loss forces new adjustments to life.
I’ve learned it’s okay to put myself first and I’m not responsible for the feelings—or lack thereof—of others about MY loss.
I’ve learned it’s okay to say no… to everyone.
I’ve learned doctors don’t know everything, or when it comes to grief, anything at all.
I’ve learned who my true friends are.
I’ve learned I don’t have to feel guilty about laughing and enjoying myself.
I’ve learned loss doesn’t change the person I am.
I’ve learned it’s okay to laugh and cry at the same time.
I’ve been reminded how amazing my three children are.
And I’ve learned my grief journey can only be taken one day at a time, one breath at a time… even when it hurts.
The running marriage joke is men never remember wedding anniversaries.
In our case, I was the one who’d remember at the last minute.
In his techie, geeky way, Den configured the date we were married, September 17, 1983, in some base language or mathematical equation he used daily… for something.
He’s not here to remind me anymore… which is why I’ll never forget it… or stop counting.
Today would have been our 37th anniversary, but instead, it’s my second without him.
The photo is from the last anniversary we “celebrated” – our 34th, with a surprise dinner from our three children. We should have known something was up as David, Drew, and Lindsey were rarely in Tucson at the same time. 😀
Ironically, the next two times we would all be together were for Den’s mom’s funeral… and then his.
The last seventeen months feel like an eternity and yesterday at the same time.
Platitudes like time heals all wounds or it will get better in time are false, useless and should never be spoken again.
The only one that is true is life goes on… and we have to go with it.
Happy Anniversary, My Love.
Next week will be two months since I lost Den, and the last ten days have been the worst since the day my life changed forever.
Insomnia, memory lapses, indecision, and the mother of all Fibromyalgia flare-ups only serve to exacerbate my grief and leave me unable to move forward… or at all.
There are bright spots when my sons pop up giving me a reason to laugh… and cook, or my daughter calls from the midwest and I remember how blessed I am to be a mom.
But they have lives and their own grief to work through, and as much as I love having them home, I don’t need or want a babysitter.
Not that they haven’t tried, bless their hearts. Their love and support mean everything, but this part of the journey–transitioning from wife to widow–I have to do alone.
So far, I suck at it. Den would not be pleased. He said I was the most stubborn woman on the planet and I bull-dozed obstacles out of my way. Actually, he called me cantankerous.
Who uses that word in the 21st Century?
My late husband, Lord of the Geeks.
So, I must do better.
I have to stop fighting the grief. I must allow the pain to wash over and through me. It will never be washed away, but enough will be spent so the love we shared can fill me and lift me up and help me to move on.
Just as it did for the last thirty-five years.
Image from Pinterest