When I went to bed the night of May 13th, 2012, I didn’t know I would wake up alone. (Although I could argue that I have not awakened as of yet.) They say that the day before your life changes is just like any other day. My life, as I knew it over the last 30 some years, had changed forever. That morning I began my journey into unknown territory, by myself. My companion and best friend who helped me through everything (even when he was terminally ill) was not by my side.
The first couple of weeks were spent more or less on automatic pilot. On the phone with insurance companies, funeral homes, thank you notes. People wanted to see me, get together, you know, keep me busy, I don’t know what I would of done with out them. I looked for answers that no one seemed to have. I wanted to know when this God-awful pain would get better. It didn’t matter what I did or did not do, nothing helped.
Every once in a while I would notice that for a short time, I would feel a little better. Just for a few seconds at a time, but it gave me hope. In an effort to relieve some of my pain one Saturday afternoon in June, I sat in Sam’s chair and let out a couple of blood curdling screams. It was me reacting to the the horror that I felt being alone. If the neighbors heard it they did not say anything. I wanted to be with Sam so badly.
Grief is a journey. No one grieves in the same way. There is no set time.
Faith, Family and Friends (not to mention my therapist) have all played a big part in my trip back to normalcy. It is a new normalcy, one without a husband. I had my wedding ring cut off my finger (before it became a medical emergency) a few weeks ago. I am thinking of changing my Facebook page status to Widow (really?)
Here is how I am dealing with most things. I am trying to face my fears head-on, not avoiding them. I am weighing all my options about where to live and realizing that I can change my mind if I chose to. Decisions will be made by what makes sense at the time.
And here is how I am doing on my journey through grief. I am somewhat at peace right now. I moved Sam’s big picture and his ashes off the mantel and into our bedroom. There is a sense of comfort I get from sleeping with him in the bedroom. He is with me, I feel him every minute of every day, but I am not looking at his picture all day long thinking of happier times. I have gone back to work, so I am busy, I am going to Mass more regularly, and I find strength in that. It cannot be done all at once. I find solace in my small victories (like getting the bathrooms organized) and being able to drive by Allegan General Hospital without thinking about us going through those doors together for his treatments and the Village Inn where we ate a lot of our meals. These may not sound like much, and it has taken the better part of nine months, but you have to start somewhere and go at your own pace.