We seldom went just a few hours without talking and touching ... how have I gone 9 months without you?
Rick, do you know how much I love you still? How much I have always loved you? Do you know how I miss you like crazy?
We had some good years together, didn't we? We saw some hard and lean times, times when we didn't think we would survive - but somehow, someway, we always made it thru -- together.
I know you were tired and weary - especially that last year. And those last 4 months - I know how hard they were on you. You endured more pain and suffering in those final 4 months than anyone should ever have to in a lifetime.
And I know that you held on because you didn't want to leave me alone, you cared for me. You loved me.
But in the end ... your heart was so weak and so very weary. I hope you have found your peace and your rest.
I hope you are proud of me, as your widow. I am trying to honor you and to respect you.
It hasn't been easy, it's been the hardest thing I have ever done. When it would have been so much easier to curl up and not live this life, not walk this grief.
I thought about it. Had others tell me it would be ok to do just that.
But then, I had to stop and wonder - would that bring you back? Cause if it would bring you back, I would do it. But then, the realization that no - nothing was going to bring you back. And then, should our kids have to lose their momma so soon after losing their daddy? And should I have to lose my life because I no longer have yours?
So, I breathe ... I get up, get dressed, and I go with the day.
There are some days now that not a tear is cried ... Not because I don't miss you - I will always miss you. Have I dried up inside? I don't think so. I think that I have just gotten a little stronger, and the grief isn't as heavy now. There are still those meltdown moments, but they aren't coming as often. Still quite intense when they do come, tho.
I think the greatest turn in all this grief came when I just "got it" that the grief is not going away. It will always be with me. It will never change. But I will change. I will grow stronger. I will be more able to carry that grief without breaking down.
But, there are others who have come into my life - at the darkest times. And they have become my dearest and best friends. They are walking their own grief walk, but they get this, and they care enough to share with me their time, their energies, their laughter, their tears. We have become a family of friends.
Our kids have been so good to me since you have been gone. They have held me long moments when the tears would come, when the sobs were wreaking havoc on my mind and heart and body. They have wiped the tears away with their silliness and goofiness. They have taken Momma in when I had no where to go. They have cared for me, honoring me and respecting me.
You would be so proud of both of them.
And all my other kids - boys and girls. They have come around me, thru texts, and messages, thru phone calls, and with their visits. They love on me, and they make me smile.
I am so glad that we loved on them all thru the years. If ever I needed them - I need them now.
Life goes on ... and I am choosing to go on with it.
You will always have your place in my heart, in my thoughts, and in my memories.
I will never not think about you.
I see you when I look at our children and grandchildren.
I hear you in their voices.
I see your smile in their laughter.
A song makes a soft tear in the corner of my eye.
A smell takes me back to a happy time.
I will forever be your Mrs. Rick McCoy.
But ... life moves on.
I choose to listen to the words of a dear friend ...
Margaret, you are worth more than the grief. You are worthy to be loved.
What will that mean? I don't know.
I think one thing it means is that I am worthy to love myself.
Oh, Rick - I am so much more than just a widow.
That is the life I am living.
But that's not who I am.
I am learning about me ... without you.
And it is a hard lesson.
I love you Rick. Always have and forever will.