That one great love

by Lin
(Illinois)

It's been 13 months. I had given myself a year to get things done and be ready to let go. That's not working out too well. We shared 26 years; he was my best friend. The one person who knew me better than anyone else and still loved me. He was a green beret for 24 years. He was strong, courageous, and so very talented. He was in a military accident and had two surgeries. The second one put him in a coma for a few days. We were called in to say goodbye. I prayed and begged and was very fortunate when God gave us 13 more years. At first we treasured every moment and were so good to each other because we knew how fragile life was. As time went on, we began to take life for granted again. I have tons of great memories, but lots of regrets too. Luckily we have a terrific son who has the best of us and doesn't seem to have any of our flaws.

I don't care about anything except my son and do the minimum to get by. At first I didn't like being with my friends, I didn't want to ruin their good times. Now I just don't think it's worth the effort. Our families are not close, but I try to let them be a part of our lives for my son's sake. I still cry 2-3 times a day and try hard not to let it affect my son, but he sees the sadness.

Here's an example of our extended family: when my husband was in the coma, I was at the hospital 20 hrs a day. I always made time for our son (then 8) and reassured him that I was watching out for his dad. He knew he could trust me and seemed fine with the arrangements. My son was with my sister. Her kids were a distraction for him. When she said I needed to come home and start being a mother again, I moved him to my parents' care. Yeah, that's the kind of loving support we can expect from our families.

He was taken suddenly at age 53 with no warning and no good byes. I've read your stories and feel very sorry for all of you.

Comments for That one great love

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Jun 13, 2011
Great love
by: Judy

Lin,

There is nothing magical or special about the one year mark except that the emotions swirling around it are brutal. I guess this popular idea that one year makes everything ok comes from the formal mourning period of past eras -remember Scarlett O'Hara scandalizing Atlanta by dancing with Rhett Butler in her widow's weeds? Anyway, after one year the bereaved was free to marry again ,wear brighter colors etc. Well poppycock! At one year I felt exactly like I did at eleven months except I was a month older. Just let grief run it's course. You begin to be better ever so slowly and sometimes you don't even notice it for a while. Meanwhile remember your love and all the good things and appreciate what you had. This was brought home to me one day when I was whining to my best friend Lil that no one would ever love me like Barry did. Lil said, "No one has ever loved me like that." What a gift, what a treasure, this reminder in a black and sad period that I had something not every woman gets to have.

Just keep plugging away and visit us often.

JM

Jun 13, 2011
That one Great Love...
by: Anonymous

Lin,

All of us try to make it to the year mark somehow thinking if we can just make it till then everything will be o.k. Nearing the yearmark is horrible and once you have survived it and all the horrible thoughts and memories dredged up, you begin to somehow wonder...What now?

Surviving the firsts of the year is not a magic way out of grief. We still need to not just accept that our life is different but adjust and accept who we have become because of grief.

Keep talking we are here listening, We are the sounding board that never gets a glazed over look because of the same ole stories, the same painful feelings that arise again despite our best efforts.

Earlier in grief someone said it is better to have loved than never to have loved at all. I wanted to shove that saying back in their throat. But later much later we realize that we did have that Great Love and would not have changed it for anything, Not even the death that ended it.
HH

Jun 13, 2011
Great Love
by: Judith in California

Lin, how can we measure a year is the deadline for grief? We just can't We were with our loves for 20 , 30, 40 or more years and all of that time and love just can't be let go of in a years time. It will never go away even if you find another to love in a different way.

I have a friend who lost her husband 30 years ago and she still, once in a while, will cry for him. SHe has been with someone else for 25 years.

I do hope you have explained to your son why you are sad and let him know death is a normal part of life. He needs to grieve for his father as well.

It's been 9 months for me tomorrow and I will long for him as long as I breathe.

May you find peace in knowing you had such a love. Others search a lifetime for that.

Take care of you.

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