TYW: A Year
It has been a harsh season. There have been storms, extreme cold, ice, and loneliness. It has been dark. Barren and alone but there is still beauty. There is still music. There is still light. In the midst of the harsh storms, the ice formed crystals of hope, faith, and love for the future. Passion makes the crystals glow breaking thru the darkness. I can still... feel. I can still... dance.
Its Sept. 6th -- Again
I was hoping that this day would not stand out. I wanted it to blend in with the rest of them. I didn't want to attach such a negative memory to a specific date. It would be awesome if it were just Sept. 6th and not a year to the day that my husband died. I even trained for it. I deliberately would not pay attention to the calendar on or around the 6th of each month. I tried my best to resist counting the months that had passed. All of it was in preparation for this month but it didn't work. As soon as September showed its face again, it became a countdown to the 6th. I am not sure how I feel. I kept this month super busy as a back up plan. I really wanted to see the date after the fact and take a deep sigh of relief. The first year is a milestone after all...
I still do not understand everything that happened as a result of my husbands death but I am hopeful. I have dreams and wishes. Most of them are simple things. I am still not able to see too far into the future. I am not sure that I believe the future is really out there. Obviously, losing my husband so young would make me doubt the ability to grow old with anyone. I think that is only natural. I think the worst part of grief is over for me. I am grateful for that. Grief has this way of changing people. I think some of these changes are permanent. I'm moving forward and learning about myself. I am trying to be patient with myself and get to know who I am after the affects of grief. I can't say that I have reintroduced myself to the world yet. I have taken small steps toward that but there are friends who have not seen me for the entire year. I am getting there. Not quiet there yet. I am not hiding. I am just taking my time. Baby steps. I do not enjoy being labeled a widow. I never was one for attention and there is a certain common reaction to it that I could do with out. My husband used to talk about that. He would not introduce me as just his wife. He said I was more than Robert's wife. I didn't get it then. I was happy and proud to be his wife. I get it now. I am more than just a widow. There have been some unique lessons that I have had to learn. I never knew the level of loneliness that a widow knows. It exists in a room full of people who are loved and love you. It persists no matter who is around or how many. I have met people who do adopt temporary stand ins and still don't find relief. I skipped that growth experience. I would not want to live in the shadow of anyone and could not bring myself to put anyone in his shadow just to fulfill a need to be held for a min. Rather than be disappointed, I will wait until a connection exists. If its meant, I would prefer another love story over a stand in. To have forced one would not work for me, especially when I am still learning about me.
The hard stuff. The year had a lot of obstacles. Some, I would rather never remember again. There has been war, there have been casualties of war, there have been storms of emotions, there has been fury and rage. Holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving were tough. The entire month of April was tough. Every year for his birthday, Robert would go to the same beach for the weekend or for the day at the very least. It was hard, but thanks to some amazing friends and my mother, I was able to keep his remains until his birthday and scatter them in the ocean by his beach. I didn't expect it to sink away out of sight so fast. I remember thinking that the ocean had taken him as quickly as his life had been taken. One second here, the next gone. Then there were all the decisions like taking off my ring and replacing it with something simple. My ring was gorgeous and attracted attention. Now alone, it was a risk. Besides, both religion and society had made it perfectly clear that I was no longer a wife. Unraveling a life that was once ours so that I can continue my life alone and in peace is hard but there is a sense of freedom and closure in doing what I need to do to live a full life and focus on healing my daughter. I think the most powerful thought I ever had was gratitude that I was chosen to share a love with my husband that is unique. It kept me from being angry and focusing on need to understand it. Thats the thing people don't understand. I don't know how or why this could have happened and I do not need to. Understanding is not a requirement for acceptance. Now with the hardest things behind me, I am actually hopeful about the year to come.
Not an easy road but life is just that, another road. If I were to run out of roads, whether easy or hard, then my life would be done as well.