Life after loss—Remembering Him with Honor and in Gratitude
“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
— Edna St. Vincent Millay
It has been almost one month since my man passed away. I was in those holes more and more often recently. I thought I was brave enough to handle it. I also thought we prepared enough so I would be ok. I find myself talking to his ashes, or just the air more and more often. I was so used to sharing every little detail of my life with him.
Like right now, I want to tell him how grateful I am because the love I got from my family, friends, students, co-workers and all the other nice people in my life. I also want to tell him that I didn’t use GPS today going to our favorite restaurant. I know he would be so proud of me. 🙂
But it is just me talking, no response at all.
Those monologues usually quickly turn into crying, sometimes big, sometimes small. I never even knew I had that many tears in me. Then it becomes anger. The final stage is me trying to remember what he used to say when I was crying. He always knows what to say or to do to make me feel better. But now, I know I need to pick myself up and move forward, even if it’s just a little and even if it may feel like I’m going backwards.
The last few weeks I felt like he just went on a business trip and he will be showing up someday. But slowly I realized deep down he is gone, forever. And those realizations hurt so much!
I survived Valentine’s Day. I didn’t cry, I wasn’t even moody. And one day I suddenly noticed when I looked at his photo, I didn’t cry, I smiled. A few evenings ago, I suddenly came to a conclusion. His physical body is gone, but his love surly is still with me. Now I can let his life continue through my eyes, my heart and my life! I noticed I had a giant smile on my face when I thought about this. And I feel there is a door towards happiness that just suddenly opened to me. Yes, this is not just my life now, it is still ours, together in a different way!
Several days ago, I went out to see some friends. I ordered some moscato wine for myself. I even asked where I can buy it for later. This was something normally my husband would do. It feels so good to know that I am trying new things that he may enjoy. I even tried to be a smarty pants during my work meeting because that was what he used to do, a lot. Everybody remembers his quick wit.
I met up with a new friend. After we met, she told me that she was worried that I may have cried and the whole evening would have been filled with tears, but I was totally fine because I can see my man’s smiling face in my head all the time. When you really love someone, you want to honor that person with what they want. He wanted me, and my family, to continue to enjoy our lives, and that is what we are doing.
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. But love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
-From a tombstone in Ireland
“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; all that we deeply love becomes a part of us.”
Photo credits: Christa Robinson.
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