So I rented two rooms at a hotel downtown so the children and I could feel like we were away somewhere. Anywhere but home, where those memories are so sharp and clear.
I, on the other hand, worried. That was my job. I worried about you, I worried about our future, I worried about my own health. I worried you would fall or have a stroke, or that you’d die without anyone by your side, without someone to hold your hand and help you to be calm.
He used to bring me coffee in bed, we would lie there and talk, starting our weekend mornings with a cup of java was always the best. He used to squeeze my hand so tight as we would take our walks here and there, holding hands like teenagers. He used to surprise me with special gifts on special days.
Just when I thought I could turn the corner, have a good day, not cry and clutch at my heart for even one whole hour, a day or even a week……..sometimes, like being t-boned at an intersection, I do not even see it coming.
I think of you often, but especially around this time – August, 30th 1985, the anniversary of your death. I realized recently that I have forgotten how your voice sounds. How wonderful it would be to have a recording of it.
First we will feel and make room for grief, knowing that in love’s time we will go forward, greater than we were, better for having known another.
The technology of today, our medicine, have left us struggling with decisions that years ago we would not even have to think about. Our elderly parents would have died in their sleep in their own beds — no fanfare, no ambulances, no needles, no poking or prodding. Just old-fashioned death at your door, and he would come for you only once.
Our heart aches – not from regret, but from the memory of what was.
It took almost 30 years, a random sentence and an impromptu visit to an old friend’s grave to make me realize what I did that day and to show me how far I’ve come.
Bereavement is the worst experience most of us will endure, but don’t underestimate the effect of injury, job loss, relationship breakdown, or being involved in (or witness to) a violent event. The sense of being out of control can be overwhelming, but there are things we can do to put direction back into our lives.