Thursday, October 17, 2013

Three Months Separated

I decided a momentary break from my blogging hiatus was due. I'm surfacing for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is to convey gratitude to all who have been checking in on me from time to time. Your compassion and support have been incredibly welcome and helpful.

I also wanted to let you all know how I'm faring.

Three months ago, death separated me from my wife of twenty-nine years. For all twenty-nine of those years, I've loved her more than life itself. I've searched for reasons and meaning. I've clung to hopes and promises. I've remembered and I've cried. God, how I've cried.

Her wedding rings are never far from my heart
This tempest of emotions is neither brief nor tame. I'm but an island besieged by a hurricane, its fury unyielding. Moments of calm are only the storm's eye. I've wept in its wind and railed at its rain, but the tempest persists. It always will.

But I am weathering the storm!

It's grueling. It's painful. But I promised her I would live and love for us both. And I'm doing it. Thankfully, I'm not doing it alone. My mother, brother and children have given vital support. And those three precious grandsons of mine are three very important reasons to succeed.

I've chosen to share some very specific things that have helped me succeed so far:
  • The bereavement counseling at Hospice. (Thanks for persuading me to give it a shot, guys!) There, I'm free to talk about Myra and my loss without burdening family and friends. And I've received some excellent suggestions and comfort.
  • Wearing her rings around my neck. Having something of hers that's tangible somehow preserves the physical connection. I hold them, kiss them and tell her how much I love her.
  • I remind myself--frequently--that Myra was God's before she was mine. She was God's gift to me, but only for a time. I choose to be grateful for that time.
  • I write Myra a letter every single day just as if I were on a business trip. Captured within those letters are every significant thought, event and emotion I've experienced since her death. They express my anguish, my love, my despair, my hopes--everything. It's probably the single most therapeutic thing I do.

I've already filled up one 160-page journal, and am well into the last third of this 200-page journal. I have two more waiting.

I have no idea how long I'll continue writing her or how long I'll continue writing daily. I'm guessing that I'll never completely stop.

In the short term, I have a couple very difficult months ahead of me. We've always made big deals of Thanksgiving, Christmas and even the traditional New Year's Day dinner. However, December also holds her birthday, my birthday and a grandson's birthday. Those too were big deals in our family.

This week has been a good one. Last week was tumultuous and I wrestled with some serious anger. Bouts of depression arise--often without warning. Laughter can become tears in mere seconds and vice versa. It's all normal and part of the grieving process.

The important thing is that I am healing. It's an agonizingly slow process, but it is happening. In time, I'll return from my hiatus. I'll resume work on my writing, hop some blogs and again contribute what I can to this awesome community of writers and bloggers that I've come to call friends.