Get over it
This would have been our 37th wedding anniversary; it is one of those weird things that I am not sure how to word. Â I am never clear on which verb tense I should use or whether or not I should keep counting the years at all. Â It is so confusing sometimes!
I used to say that the second year was harder than the first, but I no longer think that. I was recently asked by someone why widows say it “gets worse” Â or that the second year is harder than the initial loss with all of that grief. Â In spite of the fog and the numbness, nothing really hurt worse than the day Jim died. Â I was told that it would take one month for every year I was married to recover and heal. Â Who came up with that number?! Â Really?!
One of the things I have come to realize is that I will never “get over” the “loss” of my husband (btw…He is not lost because I know where he is). Â It is not that I am stuck in grief. Â It is not that I am depressed. Â It is because the love of my life – my life partner – my better half – left planet earth and left me behind! Â I think people have stopped asking how long ago Jim died because they think that I am “over it”. Â My lifestyle would indicate that. I don’t ever broadcast that I am not “over it” because I don’t like the pitiful looks, nor do I feel like I am drowning in grief and sorrow anymore. Â Further, I do not think there is something wrong with me, although others would think so, if I said I will never get over Jim’s death. Â Is the raw edge gone? Yes! Â Has the pain diminished? Absolutely. Do I miss Jim? Well of course! Has my life changed forever? Duh!
The fact is others are “over it”. Â And, it is easier for them if I am “all better” because then they don’t want to deal with it! People are uncomfortable with death and they hate the word “widowed” (well so do I!). Â People want life to go on and for me to be the person I was “before”, which is IMPOSSIBLE! Even though Jim is gone I did not lose my memories of the years we had together and the life we enjoyed. Â It existed and it changed me! (I am daily reminded by the 2 beautiful and amazing human beings we created and raised).
By watching some friends who are ahead of me on the journey and by reading several books on grief, Â I am learning to take days like my anniversary to process life since Jim went to heaven. I use these moments to stop and look back on how far I have come since my husband passed away. Â I have changed my focus from trying to get to the other side of grief and just appreciate the healing I have accomplished. Â It helps to pause and reflect on the distance I have come since that darkest season of my life. It makes all the difference to move forward one day at a time and to be grateful for the man who loved me and married me and changed me both as he came into my life and as he left it!
So I think about some of the things I didn’t know: Now I pay the bills and manage a budget. Â I can do simple car repairs and assemble furniture. Â I mow lawns and weed whack. Â I moved twice. I have become more tech savvy. I handle all kinds of things that I never imagined I would. I stopped looking for Jim in my sleep. Â I no longer wear a wedding ring because I no longer feel married. I planned a wedding and gave away my girl. I bought a car. I have come pretty far. Thankful. I am sad that Jim is not here to remember the events of this day with me, yet I don’t have many sad memories of those 30 years. God is faithful. And Happy Anniversary to me!