Danny, It is nice that your brother in law is visiting. It is not easy to visit old places, remember special moments, recreate conversations, and cherish the love shared between you and Kim. The emptiness will likely never be filled.
I returned yesterday from my road trip. It was important to me to try this on my own. I enjoyed new adventures along the way, spent time with family and friends, and spent a lot of time alone. Bob was with me. I spoke with him and thought of him during the entire trip.
Perhaps the toughest thing for me to grapple with right now is trying to decide what is next. We were long-term planners. That is presently a thing of the past. I have lunch planned with a friend for today and my husband will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery in late July. There is nothing else planned until the fall. The freedom of an open schedule is different for me and perhaps a bit welcomed right now. It gives me needed time to finalize a few remaining estate issues and continue simplifying my life. The hours alone on the road allowed an opportunity to reflect on how I want to see my life. Despite my sadness and desolation, my husband is no longer physically by my side. I can choose to live life or let it pass me by. Since the latter holds no appeal, a new zest and determination need to arise. This is a lot easier said than done.
Tears are good for the soul. Embrace them. Let them come as they will. One day, the tears become less frequent while the love and sadness remain. For me, the tears have been replaced by a feeling of blessed gratefulness. I am fortunate to have spent so much of my life with my husband and treasure the adventure. Debbie
I read your words with happy tears in my eyes, because they convey something I have been praying for - the beginning of healing and finding some measure of peace in your soul. When you first wrote of your road trip I felt such positive feelings in you, and now that sense continues as you approach what will be a difficult and painful day on June 22nd. Viewing your trip from my vantage point, you indeed had Bob beside you encouraging and supporting every step you took - especially going off the planned path to visit where your mother grew up.
I may be mistaken, but this is also the first time I remember you mentioning Bob by name, and my dear friend, that shows a measure of trust and comfort with us all here that does not go unnoticed.
Your gentle telling of your progressive steps into your new life give me such hope and strength as I face the 15th next week. This will be Larry 's and my 33rd anniversary of the day we met, and the 9th anniversary of our civil union. I face this day with a clearer mind and calmer spirit than last year when I was so weak and distraught I could hardly stand it.
I pray that we can give some glimer of understanding and hopefulness to other family who have only begun this journey - we all find our own way, and at our own pace - but the origin, loss, and the destination, healing and finding ourselves again, are the common bonds in our uncommon family. That we hold each other up and steady each other in our steps forward is truly the God given blessing this magic place provides.
Peace to you my friend, and know that you and all our family are in my thoughts and prayers today and every day -
Dearest Chuck, My thoughts and prayers will amp up for you on the 15th. Have you formulated a plan for how you will spend the day?
Thank you for your kind words. This might well be the first time that I have mentioned my husband by name. It is not that I am wary of this group. It is the entire internet that gives me pause.
I did feel Bob's presence during the entire trip. We laughed a lot, just like we did when he was beside me. The first leg of the trip retraced a brief beach break that we took just one year ago. When I got bored, like I did last year, I again asked him to put down the sports pages and talk to me. He asked what I wanted to talk about. I emphatically replied "anything!". I got a good laugh from the memories.
I pray for you and each of my friends here that we all reach a state of not simply surviving but thriving. I am able to see this for each of us and believe that we will get there through God's strength and grace and the support of our online family.
I would like to share a conversation that my husband and I had a couple of weeks before his death. It was a time when he was healthy and we were still actively planning our future. I was sitting next to him as he engaged in one of his favorite pastimes (watching sports). He turned off the TV and said "(t)his is important. Give me a few moments to find my words. . . . I am OK with this. I've lived a great life. I love you more than words can say and you are going to be OK." It still brings me goosebumps whenever I read these words.
He was having memory problems. I thought he was referring to being OK with that. I reminded him that we had entered a 50 year contract when we married, i.e. we would have 50 good years together. He laughed, told me he was trying, and reminded me that due to our age difference that contract would likely not come to fruition.I thank God for this. After his death, I wrote down his words and posted them in a prominent spot. I gain strength and perspective each time I read them. I believe that each of our spouses feel the same way and would have said these words to each of us if they were able. I hope that you agree.
Deb, I think it's great that you took such a trip by yourself. Ken's family is having a family reunion in July at his cousins house in Maine which is a 3 hour drive for me. I'm debating whether or not I'll go because I don't want to make the drive by myself. All I can think of is if something happens on the road, I no longer have my go to person to call.
I commend your strength in taking such a road trip.
Sara, GO!!! Charge your cell phone, fill up your gas tank, and go. You won't regret it. Debbie
Sara ... I understand that you don't like traveling alone and I'm the same as you. Phone and see if you can possibly go with someone else. I hope you do make the trip because it opens one's eyes to know there is family and friends who are surrounding you even if there is distance between all of you.
Thanks Deb and Marsha. I probably will go because I know Ken would want me to stay in touch with his family. I also know they'll all want to talk with me about him. I haven't seen them since his funeral in January and didn't have time to really talk with anyone. It's funny how the most grief stricken person has to play host.
Sara, Good for you! I'll look forward to your update about your trip. Debbie
I came across this and it struck a cord in me and wanted to share it with all of you in hopes it helps to strengthen you in your journey of grief:
THERE IS ANOTHER FAMILY CREATED BY GRIEF, NO ONE WANTS TO BE A PART OF. WE ARE ORPHANS LOOKING TO BELONG SOMEWHERE ANYWHERE FOR A FAMILY THAT UNDERSTANDS THE LANGUAGE OF THE BROKEN HEARTED. BY ANGIE CARTWRIGHT
It reflects on the fact that we are all so very lucky to have met on Legacy even though for most of us there are miles between us. Legacy keeps us focused and lets us know we are not alone.
I wish you all strength, love, peace and a journey into a good future.
Sara ... I am so proud of you for planning to go to visit Ken's family. Yes, odd how we are either the 'elephant in the room' or playing host, but that being said you being near the family is second best to grieving parents and Ken's relatives. I know it's difficult for you, but I know you can do it. I started doing things like this (dreading it with every fiber of my being) but found out the anticipation was worse than what it all turned out to be. If you feel like a good cry just excuse yourself; go outside, into the washroom and take your time. I also gained strength since Ernie's passed away to do things on my own no matter the distance because I was so use to him driving and felt secure, but the more I drive no matter the hours the more independent and strong I feel.
I'm praying for you and know you're going to make it.