My 6th Holiday Season
This is my 6th holiday season without you, Rick
I would think by now it might be easier -
I would be thinking wrong
The tears don’t come as often
But when they do?
They are still hot & sticky as they roll down my cheeks
The sobs still wrack my body
The grief seems to consume me
Mentally, emotionally, physically
I have learned to let it come -
But then to let it go
And to breathe deeply of life, of love, of laughter in the aftermath
Thankfully the destruction is kept to a minimum these days
The grief seems to have more of a healing effect on me now than what it did in the early days, weeks & months of being a widow
But how do I explain the difference to people who aren’t walking the path of being a widow?
Those who saw me crying in the early times
And who see tears upon my face now
They think it’s all the same
And wonder how I can still be so “trapped” or “wallowing” in grief
I am still told to “get a grip”, to “get over it”, to “move on with life”
I usually just take a deep breath and let it go
No words are said
Words are no longer enough
Words no longer have meaning and strength to them
I have not the energy to defend myself, nor my tears
Only those who have known a love that is your very breath and reason for living
And who have had the heartache of that love being taken from you
Only those “get” these thoughts, these emotions, these heart tugs
Many have said that “grief is grief” - and that we all know grief
While I agree with that statement, I also disagree with it
I have known the love and loss of parents, a brother, 2 sisters, a grandchild and numerous family members and friends
As hard as it was to endure the loss of my momma, and as much as I miss her every day - even after 14 years, still reach for the phone to call her at times -
As heart wrenching as many of these losses have been, and the change they have wrought within my heart and my life -
No loss was as intense or life changing as losing you, Rick, my husband.
Learning to navigate this life alone is the greatest challenge of my 59 years
Some have even blamed me for being alone - telling me that I should just love again
I just take a deep breath and softly say to myself, “It’s not as easy as you think” & let it go,
There are no answers that will satisfy
My heart is ready to love again
My mind tells me it’s ok to love again, after all, that’s what you asked me to do
- so there is no guilt there, no thoughts of betrayal
However, 99.99% of the guys I have talked to in these 5+ years since you have been gone want one thing ... well, 2:
1. Sex texting. Talking about it. There’s a good morning, how are you? Quickly followed by, “do you like the lights on or off” or some variation to that.
2. Pictures of boobs. Yes, I have 2 boobs. Yes, they are the larger size ones. But no! They are not for sale, they are not for a free look, either.
I can only think of 2 men who have been true gentlemen in every sense of the word.
2 men out of the many who have treated me with respect and honor.
2 men who have offered me comfort and conversation
2 men who have thought of me as more than just a warm body, or as one who can use words to stimulate
Ironically, both of them are named “Bill”.
One lives in Tennessee, and one lives in Idaho.
And to both of them, I give my heart and my soul!
One you know (Idaho Bill), and the other (TN Bill) you would have adored as much as I do!
These other guys?
One by one they have dropped away
When I do not respond with the talk or pictures, they no longer have a use for me, nor interest in me
And that’s just fine with me
If I am not worth more than that to someone, then I am worth nothing to them
God has His way of removing people from my life
Because He knows best who is a true friend, and who is not
I will say though that there are times when I am sorely tempted and tried,
just so that I can have someone to talk to,
someone to share some time with
But a deep breath and realization -
Not worth the guilt and regret
Not worth the shame and sorrow it would bring
So alone I am
and alone I will stay, unless God has another plan for me
Rick, I miss you terribly
Everything about you
5 Christmases without You, Rick.
Good morning, Rick.
I wonder if you know just how much I miss you. Always. But there are times I miss you more.
When I have a bad dream, like night before last. One of those recurring dreams - where no matter how many times I woke up and went back to sleep, the dream just continued. I couldn't make it stop. I couldn't change the ending. It haunted me all day yesterday, seemed to permeate every part of me. Oh what I would give to be held in your arms after a bad dream, have you once again wipe away my tears with your kisses. Feel the beat of your heart as you wrapped me in your love and care. Just to know that I was guarded and protected. Sigh.
When I can't sleep, like last night. Waking up every few minutes all night long. Back aching. Legs cramping. I remember how you used to rub my back, and massage my legs. Do you know how hard it is to not be touched now? I'm realizing more and more that touch deprivation is a real thing - - real, painful, heart breaking.
Christmas is only 16 days away. Lights are up - makes me remember when we would go out at night, get a cup of hot chocolate at McDonald's, the white hot chocolate, and drive around looking at Christmas lights ... just the 2 of us. How many hours and gallons of gas did we use when the kids were little - going Christmas light lookin'? But I think we used almost as many just for us. Music plays - reminding me of hearing your voice singing or humming the carols. The Christmas baking & cooking - how you would snitch and I would fuss ... how you would grab me from behind, wrap your arms around me and take a "bite" out of my neck. Sigh.
One would think that this 5th Christmas without you would be easier ... it's not. There is no numbness now. Just the pain of emptiness.
One would think that being here with family and friends would make things better ... it doesn't. They are all so busy with their own lives and plans. And you know me, I can't ask them to change just for me. Seeing the couples together, even our kids, makes me miss you even more ... how is that possible? To miss you MORE? Yet it is.
Oh Rick. I know that death is just a part of life. But the holidays are a stark and blasting reminder of just how sucky a part of life it all is. I miss you.
Yes, I am counting the days till Christmas. Maybe I can breathe a little afterwards.
I don't want to wish away my life ... but I do have a few thoughts running thru my heart wishing the holidays were over. Sigh.
If only there were some way for you to wrap your arms around me now. Hold me. Just for a little while.
September 5, 1980
The day my life began as Mrs. Rick McCoy. No greater joy, no greater passion - Thank you Sweetheart for choosing me. I love you - always have and forever will!!!!!