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
Hey, You! :)
well, it's been 5 years now
5 years since i felt your touch
5 years since i looked into your eyes
5 years since i heard your voice say, "I love you"
i miss you more than i have words to tell
i know you would smile that smile of yours
and tell me how silly i was being if i told you
that i miss even our arguments
but i do
i miss everything about you
i miss everything about us
you were more than my husband
you were my best friend
you were my memory keeper
you were the one who could make me mad as an old wet hen
but you were also the one who could turn my giggle box upside down
i miss the way you smelled
the way your skin felt beneath my fingers
the touch of your whiskers on my neck
i miss the better half of me
i certainly don't feel like much of a woman without you
i've tried -
but failed miserably
i'm back in the arms of God now
so that's a good thing
when you died, i lost my way
i tried to be strong
but everything went wrong
i'm sorry honey that i let you down
that will be the regret of my life i know
i thought i was doing the best for me, the best for the kids and grandkids,
by going to kentucky for a while
never meant to stay so long
never meant to cross the lines
never intended to be like that
you were my anchor
and you were gone
guess i put too much on you
now it's God's turn to carry me
from here till eternity
no matter what happens
no matter where i go
it's all God
or it's nothing now
i'm glad you aren't here now in 2020
it's crazy here with the coronavirus pandemic
oh you and i would be having a blast together in this quarantine state
but it would also drive you crazy ;)
i sure miss you though
your sense of reason
your words of wisdom
just to hear your voice say "it's going to be ok, we are going to be ok - either way"
i will forever love you
and always miss you
with every breath i take
in every move i make
i know i have a lot of love left in me
and a lot of life yet to do
not sure how to get from here to there
or find out what it means
and how to do it
it's different without you
the regret over the last 5 years is almost more than i can bear at times
but God says He has forgiven me
i can only hope that somewhere down this road of life
i will find forgiveness for myself
and trust that you still love me
maybe i can yet make you proud of me
you often said that you would go crazy without me
that you couldn't handle life alone
you told me i was strong
honey, i hate to admit it
but you were wrong
i'm the one that lost it when you died
i'm the one who cries herself to sleep night after night, 5 years later
i work at moving forward
but 1 step on seems only to lead to 15 back
others are getting frustrated with me
sometimes i think the story of the old Indians going off alone is the best way after all
reading the Word
listening to the music
praying with all that is within me
what else am i supposed to do
rick, i sure do miss 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.
I love you -
Ever since you died I have struggled with the thoughts and feelings that it should have been me.
That if you had lived instead of me you would have known what to do, where to go, and how to get thru this.
I have cried a river of tears.
I have stomped and stormed.
I have tried to just accept and go on.
Still lost and confused.
Still thinking that it would have been better for everyone had it been me who died instead of you.
Then came yesterday afternoon and a moment of clarity, a "light-bulb-moment" as you used to call it.
Had it been me who died, you would have been as empty and lost as I am today.
We were so much a part of each other.
I love you too much to even think any longer that it would have been better.
I love you honey.
And as hard as this is to deal with - I am glad that you don't have to know the pain and agony of the emptiness and loneliness.
I still don't know what to do, nor where to be.
I don't feel like I belong anywhere.
There is such a cavernous and aching emptiness inside of me.
But I am breathing ...
some days Just Breathing.
I am putting one foot in front of the other, taking one moment at a time.
I love you and I miss you.
After all these months - it is still so hard to believe I will never see you again.
That you will never hold me.
I will never smell you when you kiss my forehead.
This hurts like Hell.
I love you too much to wish it were you dealing with it.
You Listened . . .
Well, Rick ... I had a major meltdown yesterday afternoon.
The grief hit me on the blindside - attacked me and threw me totally "under the bus". The tears came, and wouldn't stop again. My breath was ragged. My thoughts were going 90-to-nothing.
I really thought I was losing it for a little while.
I could not see my way thru that attack.
I fought against it for a few minutes, then thought - What the Hell! What difference does it really make? Like who gives a fuck anyway?
Let the grief have me. I just don't care anymore.
And that was probably the best thing i could have done.
Just let the grief have its work in me.
The tears came ... and then they dried.
The thoughts calmed.
And my breath came back.
There were those who loved on me, spoke words of encouragement and hope to me.
Those who shared their hearts and grief along side me.
Those who just were there - and let me know that they were, quietly waiting with me for the grief bus to roll on by.
And then, the ones who got in it with me ...
wouldn't let go ...
made me smile ...
even made me giggle.
I am so thankful for them.
I can't imagine going thru this grief walk without the ones that really get it, that care enough to stay with me - no matter how fucked up i am.
There were a couple of people that although i would think they would "get" this grief walk, and know what to say -
or what not to say ... sigh.
I gotta say that as much as i detest rude behavior, I feel like i got rude with them.
I will NOT be rushed or pushed into anything.
I am NOT a child in this.
And you know me, I do not handle well when others tell me what I will do, or what I cannot do.
Make suggestions, give words of encouragement, offer to take me by the hand and gently lead me thru the wreckage of the day ... do NOT draw the lines and insist that i walk on them!
Which brings me to my memory for today ...
Thank you for all those times that you listened to me - without judging, without criticizing, without telling me what to do.
You just LISTENED.
You let me talk things out - all the pros and cons, the ins and outs, the ups and downs.
You would offer a word of hope or encouragement, a gentle hand of guiding and leading - but you LISTENED.
Even when you didn't understand - you listened.
i know you were tired at times.
And surely you had to wish on more than one occasion, that i would just shut up.
But you were patient, and kind.
You let me talk.
And when the tears came, you would open your arms and say -
Come here Baby.
I love you.
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!!!!!