5/11/2012: Two Days In

L died at 3:30 a.m. on Wed., 5/9. Note the avoidance of any euphemism such as “passed on,” “passed over” or simply “passed.” He died. He always hated the fact that people avoided calling it what it was. He was especially annoyed when anyone described the event as “we lost Mary today.” His reaction was always either “Where exactly did you lose her?” or “Why aren’t you out looking for her?” He would probably be annoyed with me for avoiding the obvious–this blog is called “Journey to Widowhood” and that particular journey ended at 3:30 a.m. on May 9th. L’s death and my entry into this strange new world came at the same moment. In the nearly 48 hrs that have passed–48 hrs that at times have seemed more like 48 seconds and at other times more like 48 weeks–I have run the gamut of emotion, Fear, anger, weariness, relief, happiness. The happiness part is realizing that he is no longer in a fight–no longer struggling to make it one more day. I don’t know what happens in the world beyond this one, but I have to believe that L is finally whole again–running, racing, gulping in fresh air as he runs unencumbered by his stroke through fields and streams. That image makes me happy. But then the reality of my own future darkens my spirits to a level of almost overwhelming grief and sadness. I will have to find news ways to do almost everything and I have started to keep a list of “first times” — first time I asked waiter for separate checks for me alone; first time I signed my sister-in-law’s b’day card with only my name not L’s, first time I went out with friends and returned to the house alone. First times to be repeated many times over the coming months and years.  Today he was cremated and on Tuesday there will be a memorial service–one that he and I planned together. I am surrounded by family and friends–their calls and visits sustain me in these early hours but…

Two days in. What will four be like? Fourteen? Forty? Four hundred?

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4 thoughts on “5/11/2012: Two Days In

  1. Hi there. I don’t know if you will ever read this comment but I am really sorry for this event that you have experienced. It sounds difficult, but you seem really brave and strong for pulling through. I found this blog while I was researching for my term paper, the Effects of Death on the surviving spouse during widowhood and I started reading from the beginning. Your blog has given me great insight into my paper, and sheds a light on the personal aspects and feelings that people go through that no research paper could demonstrate. I plan to finish reading your blog at a later time, and I honestly wish with all my heart that you are doing well on your new journey.

    1. Thank you for writing and I am truly pleased that my blog may have provided you with some insights for your paper. I am approaching that always heralded 1st anniversary of L’s death and my plan (made months ago) is to go to a small cottage on Lake Michigan for a week of looking back and looking forward. It has been an incredible year as you will see if you read my newest entry (posted today). I have learned in my journey that the heart needs to remain open to all possibilities. No, it has not been and will not be easy–the loneliness and waiting for someone to “come home”, to sit with at a ballgame, to watch a favorite TV show with, to just share a meal and the day’s news with–THAT does not get easier with time. But I know what L wanted for me and with that as my guide I get through the days and nights and weeks and months–and eventually the years. Take care and take special note of those you love and who love you! All best, Anna

  2. I have been following your blog as you have journeyed into widowhood. Many times I have checked my e-mail to find out how L was doing. I have prayed for you and L and cried for you and I cry for you now as you begin this new life of firsts. I am very sorry for your loss and will continue to pray for you. Your blog and your candid openness in facing the inevitable, as painful as it must have been, has been an inspiration to me and, as I am sure, to many others as well. God bless you and your family.

    Debbie C.

    1. Debbie, I so appreciate your note. I am thinking of continuing the blog as Journey THROUGH Widowhood–that is if I can figure out how to change the title!!! Frankly the months and years of illness and caregiving were a walk in the park compared to what I face now!!! Take care. Anna

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