Douglas died July 17, 2009.  I just celebrated my third Christmas and New Year without him.  It wasn't as dark as the first time or even the second year.  Grief has a way of protecting us from so many things as we try to adjust to the new changes that are before us.  I still miss him and always will.  A day doesn't go by that I don't think of him and smile.  Yes, I still have an occassional "grief burst" but the tears are short lived now (probably because I cried myself dry the first year!).  I have concluded that it is okay to cry or smile or even laugh out loud when thinking of this gentle man.  The love of my life, best friend, and now guardian angel.  I can talk about him with friends and family and am comfortable with the discussions.  Coming this far has also helped with relationships he and I shared with friends and family.  I have to remember that friends and family members lost someone as well.  Not in the same sense as me, but a loss nonetheless.  I feel Douglas around me everyday and I am sure he has had a laugh or two as he watches me learn about cars (something other than where the gas goes), how to put things together with an actual hammer and screw driver, and how to say "no" firmly but still remain polite.  I came across a poem the other day that I discovered in the first months of his death.  I would like to share that with all of you.

 

"Remember Me" by David Harkins

Do not shed tears when I have gone
but smile instead because I have lived.

Do not shut your eyes and pray to God that I’ll come back
but open your eyes and see all that I have left behind.

I know your heart will be empty because you cannot see me
but still I want you to be full of the love we shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live only for yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of what happened
between us yesterday.

You can remember me and grieve that I have gone
or you can cherish my memory and let it live on.

You can cry and lose yourself, become distraught
and turn your back on the world
or you can do what I want - smile, wipe away the tears,
learn to love again and go on.

 

This is a very difficult time for those who have lost someone recently and for those of us who lost our loved one a few years back.  In any case we are all on the same path and here for one another.  We are family!!

 

Peace,

Brigitte

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Thanks for sharing Brigitte.  A wonderful poem that I need to try and live up too.  My David would have said those same words to me.  As you know it is very hard to go on.  Sometimes it seems like I just go through the motions.  Am much better than before and like you my cries seem to be less intense and shorter.  I have used all my tears too.  It has been three and a half years for me.  God Bless you and all of us who are going through this: I pray every night just for peace and a little joy and I pray this for all of us here.    Jan 

Thank you Bridgette. I have read that poem before, but it was a good day to read it again.
It's been two years for me and almost one month....my husband died suddenly after a short 10 day virus illness that caused viral encephalitis. It was horribly traumatic and I still picture the huge open for draining cut across his half shaved head and the 6 days of coma he was in. I can't get the trauma out of my head. I do try to bring forward the wonderful memories...just the crap seems to stick around. My mom whom was my best friend died a slow death from cancer and I took care of her. I thought that was horrible enough and the worst.....but this is the worst for me... Feels like this deep pain inside is going to eat me up from the inside out sometimes. I am having trouble making sense of the short time we got together after waiting all our lives for each other. I was soooooo happy......it's so unfair

Brigitte ... I understand how you feel and I am having a rough day as it's my b/d and I miss my dear Ernie so much.  He passed away on April 27, 2011 of pancreatic cancer.  I will admit my long cries are getting less, but nonetheless I do have my days.  I wish I could feel him around me more.  Your poem put many things back into perspective for me and made me feel a little more joyful.  Thank you for that.

 

Hugs

Marcy

Dear Nancy ...

 

I am so sorry you have had far too much trauma and loss so quickly.  I do know how you feel.  My husband Ernie passed away April, 2011 of pancreatic cancer and it was difficult to watch him fade away before my very eyes.  It is so difficult to love our spouses so deeply and we cannot help them in any way.  I am full of question re God; why are we here and why does death have to be so brutal.  I think most of us grieving here have had to face those questions.  In our own ways we survive even though it may just feel like we are existing, but every day we get through is making us stronger and the wonderful memories and the love they gave us should strengthen us.  I know I feel how it hurt me so to tell my Ernie to 'go and not worry about me' (the worst thing I ever had to do) but seeing him in such pain it was a relief to know he passed quickly after that and is no longer in any pain.  I know you will in time feel the same way.  All of us are here for each other anytime you need to talk.

 

Hugs

Marcy

It's been two years for me and almost one month....my husband died suddenly after a short 10 day virus illness that caused viral encephalitis. It was horribly traumatic and I still picture the huge open for draining cut across his half shaved head and the 6 days of coma he was in. I can't get the trauma out of my head. I do try to bring forward the wonderful memories...just the crap seems to stick around. My mom whom was my best friend died a slow death from cancer and I took care of her. I thought that was horrible enough and the worst.....but this is the worst for me... Feels like this deep pain inside is going to eat me up from the inside out sometimes. I am having trouble making sense of the short time we got together after waiting all our lives for each other. I was soooooo happy......it's so unfair

I was just reading the poem Remember Me and that was so beautiful. I agree with Janice Jones. I will try to live up to it. But it's going to be real hard.

 

Jane Favara

Dear Jane,

I am glad that this poem may have brought you some peace of mind.  I read it every day to remind myself that Douglas wants me to continue with my life -- and it is also a gentle reminder of what a beautiful man I was so lucky to have built 33 years of fantastic memories.  He suffered with his illness but always kept his gentle nature and we loved each other more every day.  He is my hero and guardian angel!!

 

In peace,

Brigitte

I lost my beloved best friend, soulmate of 35 years February 21, 2010.  He was a important part of my life 50 of my 59 years.  "Lost" is an understatement. It is still a chore everyday to breathe.  I am blessed to have our 4 children and 8 grandchildren to keep me going, but I feel like I am such a burden and worry to them.  It is not right that I am here and Skip is gone.  He wanted nothing more than to see his grandchildren, they are missing so much with him being gone.

I have even had people ask me if I was ready to start dating now!?  In my heart I am a married woman and could not imagine sharing my life with someone else.  He is in my thoughts 24/7, please, somebody out there tell me when I will be able to look forward to tomorrow.  I am so sorry for anyone having to be at this site. I appreciate it because I know there is nobody else that could understand this pain.  Hugs. Nevi

This third Christmas and New Year's was hard, not as hard in some ways, but harder in others....as more time goes by since the death of our beloveds, resources just tend to fall away - friends and family aren't quite as able or willing to see our grief, or listen to us talk about our dead beloveds. Even professionals seem to expect our grief to be 'managed', 'manageable'.
While I will say that it's not as sharp as it was in June, 2009 when Byron died - it is still present, it is something that will never go away, never heal.
I think of Frodo the Hobbit in Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings' trilogy - he was wounded with knife, tooth, spear and a long and heavy burden, and he was told by the wizard Gandalf that his wounds would never completely heal. Yet, he eventually triumphed, and helped save the Shire for the others (yah, I'm a nerd; I'm a database administrator, in Information Technology (ha)). Frodo could never be the same, he could never be as if he were never wounded - but he preserved, and so all of us do, the best ways we can.

Comfort, grace, healing and blessing be with and upon you all - Yaca Attwood Perkins

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