Grief and Memories
Its funny the first real cogent thought I had in those first ripping months of grief after I lost John was that I had to put on a Mask. I did not want people in my face; I got tired of answering the same questions. It gave me distance. I needed that space to hold on to this thing, this grief, because I did not have John to hold any longer, I just had grief.
I love John, not past tense, not before, then, or when, I love John, right now this instant, I love him, I always have, I always will. Yes, I know John is gone, and even though there are times that, I still find myself praying for him to come back to me, I know he cannot. I have got that.
At 22 months, I have come to accept that I will live with grief. It will be with me until we are together again. That does NOT make me morbid or depressed or in need of medication, it makes me a Widow. Guess what, that is what I am, a Widow What I feel is pain, sometimes still so searing that it brings me to my knees, sometimes it is in the background but that pain, that loss that grief is always with me.
I can tell you I am not interested in meeting someone new. I am not interested in “starting a new phase in my life.” I did not volunteer for this. The most important person in my life was ripped away. We were building our last home together; we were planning trips and visits from the children and grandchildren. John was a good man, he worked hard, he did not lie, he did not steal and we loved each other totally and completely.. So why did this man die ten days after he was diagnosed with cancer. I have had some people tell me it was a blessing. Funny I do not feel blessed. Moreover, you know what, the man who looked at me and said why can't we just be together; he did not feel particularly blessed either.
He wanted to try, he wanted to fight, and he was never given the option. So do not address this like I had some mid life crisis and changed my life, my life as I knew it was taken from me leaving me bloodied and torn from my fight with this thing this death. I live in a different state than we were settling in because I could not stand to live in the house that he and I had picked out together. And despite what anyone else thinks, I am not alone, I have John, he is with me always in my heart. There will never be anyone who will measure up to him. I know that.
We all deal with grief differently. The one thing that seems to be the same is this insane idea that we as widows need to heal in a certain way. We will heal as we heal, period. We cannot do things that will make others more comfortable being around us, or make them feel "ok" moving on with their lives. I, for one, cannot validate the feelings of someone who has no comprehension what I am going through. Frankly, I do not care if my being a Widow makes you uncomfortable. I really do not. I have a home, and a job and an office with big windows. I would give it up in a heartbeat to be with John. Because he is my love.
The holidays are always hard for widows. For me, New Years Day is always the worst, because you see John always proposed to me on New Years Day, he wanted me to know every year that I was his love. This is my second year where the silence is deafening. I am still so raw with pain in so many ways. I feel time dragging me away from our last moment together. I still sleep with his shirt in on his side of the bed, the dresser is set up with his things, and our pictures are in the house. His ashes sit on my dresser, just as I promised him.
I was one of those women who were, taken care of. John took care of everything. He was the man of the house. I know it sounds old fashioned, but it was what worked with us. So now, I have a good handy man, and an emergency plumber I have learned how to rewire the stereo system and make one remote work for the five I had laying there. I have always been able to do it; I just did not have to.
Therefore, for 2012 I am sliding quickly toward the two-year point of having John taken from me. He has not faded, as I was so desperately afraid he would, I have his smell and the feel of his hair and the touch of his hand, and all I have to do is close my eyes. Am I good with this, of course not, but it is all that I have. I have grief and memories. And on those times when I am crippled by the pain of the loss of John, it is like when I started.
One breath, one step, one day at a time.
I love you John, I always have, I always will. I cannot do this without you, I do not want to.