Friday, September 13, 2019

Sad all over again

Death by a thousand cuts refers to an old form of Chinese torture whereby a person would slowly die as he bled to death from a thousand little cuts.
Grief is like that.
Yes, death gives you an initial gut punch that brings you to your knees.
But after a while, the shock wears off and you assimilate the loss and continue to live.
But the grief, the pain of losing that person you love so much stays with you and day after day, month after month, year after year, you bleed.
I bleed when I turn over in bed at night and caress John's empty pillow.
I bleed when I make coffee for one in the morning.
When I heat up a frozen dinner at night instead of making a delicious meal for two.
When I watch the sun rise in the morning and John is not here to share it with me and I see another day before me without him.
Grief robs you day by day, cut by cut, tear by tear, loss by loss.
I don't want to sound morbid or pessimistic.
Life does become "routine" again, if you will.
Gradually I have incorporated losing John into my new life and I have learned to band aid the cuts and soon they scab over.
But they never really heal.
Anything can pull that scab off.
Sometimes I am surprised by the renewed hurt.
Sometimes I understand what did it.
A song.
A smell.
A noise.
I was taken aback by the sound of the the pool man one day as he dove under the water to fix a pop up head. For a split second, it sounded like John was back in our backyard. John who loved our pool and dove into it every day after work to cool off. For a split second my soul felt whole again.
And then...
And then it bled all over again.
There is no rhyme or reason to what can make a grief cut bleed again.
Today is the anniversary of when John and I moved into this house we have now in Arizona.
After driving for 5 days with 1 dog, 3 cats, and 1 parakeet, we entered our new home.
Now I am here alone. Different dog. Different cats. No bird.
And no John.
Tomorrow the bleeding will stop. Again.
But today I am cut all over again.
Such is grief.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

I miss you so much, Sweetheart

This month of August is now bittersweet for me.
As the days tick by I am daily reminded that 38 years ago John and I were planning our wedding. We were engaged on August 3rd and married on August 28th.
So the memories are both sad and happy.
Yesterday, I had a meltdown while listening to a Willie Nelson song.
I try to take comfort knowing John is with me but some days I lose the battle.
I know John is still with me. I know it with every fiber of my being.
But that doesn't make the missing any easier.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Together - Always, Still

John shows me every day - sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways - that he is still with me.
It comforts me.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

A gift for my heart

Today, I was driving home from Church and, as usually happens when I am in my car, my thoughts drifted to John and our life and how much I miss him.
And then just as those thoughts were going through my mind and I was feeling especially sad, this song came on Pandora.
John Denver's My Sweet Lady.
One of my favorites and oh, so special now.
I felt as though John was speaking directly to me through John Denver's words.
Thank you, Sweetheart.

"My Sweet Lady"
Lady, are you crying, do the tears belong to me
Did you think our time together was all gone
Lady, you've been dreaming. I'm as close as I can be
And I swear to you our time has just begun
Close your eyes and rest your weary mind
I promise I will stay right here beside you
Today our lives were joined, became entwined
I wish that you could know how much I love you

Lady, are you happy, do you feel the way I do
Are there meanings that you've never seen before
Lady, my sweet lady, I just can't believe it's true
And it's like I've never ever loved before
Close your eyes and rest your weary mind
I promise I will stay right here beside you
Today our lives were joined, became entwined
I wish that you could know how much I love you
Lady, are you crying, do the tears belong to me
Did you think our time together was all gone
Lady, my sweet lady
I'm as close as I can be
And I swear to you our time has just begun

Friday, May 24, 2019

9 years today

John and I loved to celebrate anniversaries. The usual ones of course - our wedding day [both of them!], our first date.
But John even made up some to celebrate. One of them he called Bunkie Day - the day we moved in together to start a new life.
Today is an anniversary too but it's not a happy one and not one I relish acknowledging and certainly not one I care to "celebrate".
Today marks 9 years since John passed. 9 years ago today I woke up to find my world changed. John had died and nothing would be the same ever again.
My love, my best friend, the man who made the world right no matter what, was gone from this life and I had no idea how I could go on.
But I did.
I made it my business once the shock wore off to continue our relationship. I knew beyond a doubt that John still loved me as much as I loved him and that his death was a change, not an end.
We were/are still married and we are still connected.
I knew if there was a way to stay connected we would find it.
And we did.
Today, John shows me every day that he is still here with me. Sometimes the signs are huge. Sometimes, they're small. But I see them and I smile and say Thank you and it gives me peace.
Of course, I still miss what we had and I yearn for what was and for what can no longer be.
I'm not saying this new relationship is better. It is what it is.
But. it. is.
That's what's important. We are still together.
And I know this may not work for everyone. That's OK. It works for us and it's what we want.
I had no idea where I would be today 9 years ago. There are days I still can't believe this has happened to us. But the raw horrible soul-destroying grief has subsided and for that I am grateful. I can find peace in our life and I look forward to our reunion.
So, I guess today I do celebrate. I celebrate our new life and how grateful I am that we have it.
May 2010 - NYC

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Signs of love

I love how our loved ones who have passed know just when to get our attention.
The next few days are going to be tough for me. The anniversary of John's passing is coming up soon and I am acutely aware of it.
The sadness that I am, for the most part, able to tamp down, is bubbling up more than usual. So, I have been talking to John and asking him to be with me. And he is letting me know that he hears me and is indeed here with me.
Yesterday I changed the wallpaper on my Alexa Show and instead of the picture I uploaded from my phone [a pretty cactus picture I had taken], John sent a picture of himself and after a few seconds it changed to a picture of the two of us. Then before I had a chance to even realize what was happening, it went to the correct picture.
Then today as I was out to running errands, I synced my phone to my car which automatically starts my music. Unless I specify an album, the phone shuffles my music which is what happened. The first song to play was “Lay, Lady, Lay”. John and I always liked that song. I had even made it his ringtone. 
So, I knew that was him. 
Then I waited to see what the next song would be.
It was “Let It Go!” from Frozen. That song speaks to me. It reminds me how John always told me to not worry so much. In fact, he used to put a smiley face on my finger in ballpoint ink to remind me when I would get upset about things. I even wrote about that in my book.
I think he was trying to say that again.
Thank you, Sweetheart.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A pet's love

I recently bought a new television for the living room.
Once I did, a whole cascade of events took place.
I rearranged the living room furniture so that I could sit closer to the new bigger screen and take advantage of the view.
The rearrangement now left me room to move John's desk from its old place in what used to be his office [now a room I made for meditation and reading] into a new place of prominence in the living room.
Now with the new bigger TV I wanted to watch my stored videos of our wedding and family vacations.
The old DVD player no longer worked so I trotted off to Best Buy and bought a new one.
That brought me to last weekend.
New DVD hooked up, I popped in one of the DVD's I had had made of films from a vacation from many many years ago.
It started off with John at the bow of a small ship [we were in New England somewhere - I no longer remember]. He was offering food to the seagulls following the ship and talking to me who was filming.
That was the thing. He was talking. You could hear his voice loud and clear.
Suddenly, Riley, one of our cats who loved John so much, stopped what he was doing and jumped up on the TV stand and just stood and stared at John on the screen. He stayed there for several minutes until the view changed and John was no longer visible.
I watched in amazement and had to take his picture to memorialize it.
This little cat who had not seen or heard John in almost 9 years remembered.
He remembered the man he loved to snuggle with.
Who fed and cared for him.
Who loved him.
He remembered and he still loved him.
I have never believed in the "it's just an animal" viewpoint but I gained an even bigger respect for the souls of animals that day.
You can't tell me Riley wasn't remembering his Daddy.
The saving grace is that our animal buddies are very good in living in the Now. So when John was off the screen, Riley was happy to go back to what he had been doing.
I, on the other hand, sat and cried.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Happy birthday, Sweetheart!

Today is John's birthday.
He would be 76 years old.
Happy birthday, Baby! I am celebrating with you.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Another step forward

This week I rearranged the furniture in our living room and made room to move John's desk.
It had stood for almost 20 years in his office in a room off our master bedroom. Right after John passed away I could barely stand to be in that room for even a few minutes without becoming physically ill.
Gradually, that feeling eased and I was at least able to use the desk for short periods of time for bookkeeping purposes.
Then, in April 2017, almost 7 years after John died, I decided to make that room my own. Over several days I cleaned and dusted, went through filing cabinets, and shredded papers. I bought a cabinet to hold my crystals and Reiki books. I bought a new chair to meditate and read in.
The energy in the room shifted and it once again became warm and welcoming.
But I just didn't know what to do with the desk. So, it remained in the corner where it had been - now with a screen around it until I decided what to do.
Then last month, things suddenly fell into place.
I had purchased a new flat screen TV and in order to take full advantage of it, I decided to move the sofa and love seat closer to it.
And voila! A space was made for John's desk. I knew it would show itself when the time was right.
So, now it sits in the living room where it can be admired and used.
It feels good now.
And I know John is pleased.
We do this mourning and grieving thing on our own timetable. Each of us is different and that's okay.
I wasn't ready to do this any sooner than I did. But now my heart is peaceful about the changes in a way it would not have been before.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

We are all mourning

A dear friend lost a member of her family recently and their family is grieving.
She posted this article this morning and it's definitely share-worthy.
It's an article by John Pavlovitz called "Everyone Around You is Grieving. Go Easy."
I had read this article before but read it again and immediately knew I had to share it too. The point the author makes is so very true.
We have to SEE each other, even if it's uncomfortable sometimes. I think people are afraid to reach out. If they only knew how welcome that outstretched hand would be. 
I remember flying home to AZ after John had died while we were vacationing in NY. It had happened only hours before but, after making all the arrangements I could while in NY, I HAD to be home. 
I needed to be home to hug my dogs and just be in our house. 
So there I was, flying alone. John's body was in a morgue in NY and I was taking his suitcase home with me. I could not believe what had happened to us.
My cousin had alerted the flight attendants before I boarded and asked them to keep an eye on me but no one approached me during the flight. I sat in my seat for 5 hours - upset, distraught, numb, worn out, sad. 
Tears quietly streaming down my cheeks for most of the flight. 
Not one person said a word to me the entire time. 
Maybe that was better. I'll never know. 
Would it have been worse if an attendant had asked me how I was? 
Could the gentleman sitting next to me have asked if I was all right? 
How could he not have seen my tears?
All I know is I lived inside my head for that flight and to this day, I do not know how I did it.
But we need to see each other. 
I think some people are afraid to "catch" whatever they are avoiding - death, loss, etc. But as Ram Dass said "We are all just walking each other Home." 
I know now I try to reach out to others more, acknowledge them, compliment them. At the very least we should try to make their day better, not worse. You just never know what is going on in their life at that moment.
You could be that one thing they need that day to go on.