Christmas has come ... and gone. Another first without Rick. I'm beginning to think that my life has become a series of "firsts". Guess that is this walk of grief playing itself out.
I am trying to learn my way thru.
--A widow is what I am. It is the life that has been thrust upon me. Not something I chose. Not something I like. But it is the life I have been given to live. And live it, I will. I will embrace this grief. But I will NOT be consumed by it. I will choose HOW to live this life.
--A widow is not WHO I am. That, I am still trying to figure out. WHO am I? What do I like? What do I want? Where do I want to be? So many questions ... and not many answers at this point. But I have the rest of my life to figure it out. There is no time limit.
--This grief, overwhelming at times, and at times ... just there - this grief, will always be with me. I will learn as I go to be stronger at lifting it, and carrying it. I will find out what makes me smile thru the tears - and that is what I will choose to focus on.
--no matter where life takes me, I will always love my husband ... and I will always miss him like crazy.
--This is MY grief, MY journey, MY life. And as hard and painful as it is, as much as I need and want my friends to support me - This is MY fight song. I will do this.
Looking back at my journals, I know that this begins the hardest 4 months of this first year. All the memories of those last 4 months with Rick come flooding back.
The first 25 years of our marriage was like a dream come true for me. Then, things started shifting ... changing. We talked about the change. We both still loved one another. And we were committed to live that love out - till death do us part. Thought maybe we were just really getting to that "settled" time of our life. Perhaps that's how it started.
But then ... Rick's health began to turn against him. And for all the right and wrong he did, I did, we did together ... it got worse. Worse. Worse.
I read in the journal pages ... and looking back, I now wonder if he gave up a year ago? I think he did. I think emotionally and mentally he was worn out, tired, weary. And looking back, remembering those last 4 months together - I think it just took his body those 4 months to catch up to his mind and his heart.
He loved me. I know he did. And he knew that I loved him. Without question.
I wanted him to fight to LIVE.
He wanted to live ... but he was like Gus in the movie "Lonesome Dove" - when his leg was taken off. He refused the chance at living without any legs. What if he wanted to kick a pig? Rick wanted to kick a pig, too. And thinking back to the many conversations we had in the dark of night while he was hooked to the dialysis cycler -- he was afraid the time was coming he wouldn't be able to kick a pig. He didn't want to live like that.
Those last 4 months were HELL for Rick (for me, too). We went thru so much together. In some ways it brought us closer than we had been in several years. We had so many conversations when he couldn't sleep, when the pain was at the worst. We talked about our past, about this present we were going thru, and we even talked about the future - what it would be like to live this out together, what it would be like for me to have to live it out alone.
He was worried about me. He wanted to know that I was going to be OK. He said once that I wouldn't even miss him if he was gone. "Yeah, right! You are my soul-mate, my Sweetheart. How could I not miss you? I miss you when you are just sleeping!"
We talked a lot about those who we had lost over the years. At last count 150 since 1995. Some were those who take a piece of your heart and soul when they go. He cried for them. I wiped his tears away.
He suffered greatly those last 4 months. Emotionally, mentally, and physically. No one but me knew the extent of his suffering.
He suffers no more. He is at rest. His body is at peace.
I love him. And I miss him like crazy. The tears still come so easy ... and are still so hot on my cheeks. Sobs rack my body. No matter how tightly I clutch my stomach, it still aches - that deep and abiding ache of missing him.
Yes, the grief continues ... and it always will.
Then a deep breath ... and Life goes on. Day becomes night ... night becomes day. I cry until I laugh ... and I will laugh until I cry.
I will focus on the little things - look for them like for a hidden treasure.
I have friends that understand ... that support me. Because they, too, walk this way of grief. They are the ones that can make me smile thru the tears. They are the ones that make me giggle so over silly little things. I am so sorry that they understand. I would walk this way alone for always, if only they didn't have to understand. But since they do understand, because they didn't get a choice here either - I am so glad that they have chosen to walk this way together - with me.
I love you Rick. I look at your picture and I just love you. I know your heart to me. You would know that I am grieving. But you would not want me to sink into that hole of despair and loneliness. You would not want the emptiness to consume me. And I know that the best way for me to honor YOU - is to love, to live, and to laugh. I love you Sweetheart. Always have. Always will.
So why "Scattered Feathers" ? ? ?
You can read it here