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
I am trying to do this life alone
I probably spend too much time wondering what others do who live alone
Especially those who have always been home-bodies, like me
When you were here, and the kids were at home, goodness!
It always seemed like I barely had time to go to the bathroom!
Then when the kids grew up and moved on with their lives,
Remember how I felt like I was going crazy for a while?
So bored and lonesome while you were at work
Just that lost feeling
Didn’t know what to do with my time
We had gone from a large house to a small RV -
So the time it took to clean it was almost nothing
Well, in these 5+ years since you’ve been gone -
I stayed with the kids and grandkids for almost that first year
Then made the worst mistake of my life -
Went to Kentucky
At the time, I thought I was doing what was best for everyone, me included
But 3 1/2 yrs later, it didn’t take me that long to realize, but took me that long to figure a way out -
And the gut punch of reality: it WAS the worst mistake of my life
I’m sorry I did that to you, to me, to US
I’m sorry I did that to our kids and grandkids
Guess I will go to my grave with these regrets and wishings
I know, what’s done is done
I can’t get back those times
I can’t make things right either
Some days are harder to face with those 3 1/2 yrs of memories than others are
Guess that’s just the way of life
I find myself gravitating to the stories of people, past and present, who have made mistakes
And have found a way to live life anyway
The movies make me cry hard
The thoughts make me be in a very reflective mood
Probably best that I am living alone, huh?
I wish you were here
I could really use some words of wisdom and advice right about now
I try to think back to things you always said -
- to yourself, to me, to the kids, and to others, when faced with bad choices and mistakes
- I know you were harder on yourself than you were on anyone else
- well, so am I
I’m trying hard to be better
As a woman
As your widow
As the kids’ momma
As the grandkids’ grannee
I just don’t know how to make this life alone
I’m lost, honey
I am writing again, though -
- thinking of you with every word I type
- I wonder sometimes where the words will lead me, if God really has put this calling on my heart
- I don’t care one whit about name or fame, nor about money.
- I do care about healing. My healing. And if God can use me to help someone else heal.
This is a tough life, this life alone
I’m not stronger than you were, not by a far sight
But as much as I loved you then, and love you still -
I’m glad it’s me not you.
It would break my heart if I knew you were having to live like this
- and I guess that’s part of what’s wrong with me now
- I just wonder how you are
- oh I know all that we have been taught about a Christian dying
- but I wonder, is that really true?
- or are you missing me as much as I am missing you?
God, please don’t let it be like that.
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!!!!!