Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Sweetheart

Our first Thanksgiving dinner 1979
Today is our first Thanksgiving apart in over 30 years. Many Thanksgivings we spent just the two of us but it didn't matter. As long as we were together, everything was fine.
I am grateful for the life we had, for the love we shared, for the good times and the bad. Whatever came our way just made us stronger.
I am grateful for the friends we have who showed me love today; for the people who respected my need to spend the day alone and grieve in my own way but still let me know that they were there for me and loved me.
But most of all, John, I am grateful for you. My life is so much richer for having shared it with you these past thirty-four years. We went from colleagues, to friends, to lovers, to husband and wife, soul mates and best friends.
Thank you.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Six months

Today marks 6 months since my Love went to Heaven. I know he is happy. I know he is in a good place. But I still miss him with every cell of my being. I tell myself things happen the way they are supposed to [John's favorite saying] and I am trying to be brave and walk my talk but this is by far the hardest thing I have ever done.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The upcoming holidays

I wish people understood more about how I feel about the holidays. I know my friends worry about me but I have to do this in my own way.
I keep getting invitations to parties and dinners and I know in my heart it is coming from a place of kindness and love and I appreciate it. I really do.
But I don't like to have to explain why I am saying no. I was never a party person before. I am not going to be that way now just because I am alone. And I certainly don't want to be anywhere where there are going to be nothing but couples. Not because I can't be someplace on my own. That's not it. I am an independent person. But being somewhere with couples just makes me miss John all the more and I don't want to be someplace where it's being shoved in my face that he's gone. Why can't people understand that? I miss John with every cell of my being. Why am I going to go to TDay dinner at someone's house and put on a phony happy face and then get sad and have someone tell me not to be sad. Am I making any sense?
I can't do things to please other people. Grief over John is the most personal thing I am doing. People have to respect that and let me do it my way. A friend told me she was afraid I am going to go into an emotional hole. Another friend confided to me last week that the first few weeks after John passed away she was afraid I was going to kill myself. I won't. As much as I wanted then and still do now want to be with him, I know that isn't the way to do it. And I won't go into a place where I can't climb out of. I have been through a lot in my life. Things that some people have no idea about [except John]. I know I will survive. I just don't want to. But I am also a responsible person and I know my mother-in-law and my babies are depending on me. I will always be here for them. I may not be in the best shape but I will be here.
I hate that I have to constantly be explaining myself. I know people mean well but I will be glad when these holidays are over. I feel like I need to wear a sign "Thank you for the invitation but the answer is No".

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I just know no one can really understand

But it helps to write things out. Maybe in some way my mind feels that as long as something is written about my love some where, somehow, he's not gone. Of course, he will never be gone for me. But I want his life to have meant something, to memorialize him. I guess that's why I keep looking for pictures and plastering the walls with them. If I can see him, he's still here.
And to keep from going crazy because some days I think I just will.
I know I can't keep talking about him to people because it will turn them off, if it hasn’t already. I try to pace myself but I need to talk about him. He's still alive to me. He always will be. He's my other half, my better half. For half my life we have been JohnandJoy. I don’t know how to be – or want to be – just me, just Joy. JustJoy.
But I guess for other people he is gone. It’s over. Time to move on.
Except I can't. I never will. And I don’t care if that’s weird, or unhealthy, or whatever. It’s me. It’s us. I don’t think anyone ever had what we have/had. It only comes along once in a blue moon. We were lucky. And we knew it.
At least we knew it.
We appreciated what we had in each other. We were so blessed. I am so grateful for what we had.
I’ve lost more than my husband, my mate. I’ve lost my best friend, the person I could count on for everything no matter what. The person I trusted my life and soul with. The person I knew would always do right by me, who loved me unconditionally, and cared deeply about me above all else, even above himself. You don’t just forget that. You don’t “move on”. There is no getting over that.
I don’t want to get over it. Why would I?
I miss him so much. I do want to die. Not that I would do anything to bring that about. But nothing in this world matters to me. Not money. Not a friend. Not a sunset.
What are sunsets without you? What good is spending money if I can’t enjoy the fruits of it with you? I don’t care about anything. No one can understand the extent to which I JUST DON’T CARE.
All I want is my husband back and I can’t have that. Not like it was.
These feelings are so overwhelming, so devastating. I have never experienced anything like this before.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Missing my love so much today

I so wish we had had more time

Remember when thirty something seemed old
Now lookin' back, it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when

Remember when we said when we turned gray
When the children grow up and move away
We won't be sad, we'll be glad
For all the life we've had
And we'll remember when

Thursday, November 11, 2010

There is no such thing as moving on

Yesterday I saw a friend I hadn't seen in quite a while. Literally over a year. I had thought about her often but she was a friend I only saw when I entered her store - she wasn't someone I socialized with yet I enjoyed her company and we chatted about many things as we did our business.
Anyway, I was glad to see her in the store when I entered yesterday and the inevitable "Hi, how are you?" came up.
I looked at her. "Not well," I answered. She immediately looked concerned. She was obviously afraid to ask why but wanted to. So I told her.
And then she said something that was the last thing I expected to hear. "I know exactly where you are right now. I lost my husband a year ago this summer." Sadly, a kindred soul.
So we talked about what we are both feeling, what we are both experiencing and how similar it was.
And we commiserated about the dumb things that people say in an effort to be helpful.
Like "you need to move on".
Just to let you know - there is no "getting over it and moving on". It's ridiculous. You don't move on from a loss like this. Things are different. Maybe you get used to "different" or at least learn to co-exist with it but it bothers me when people tell me I have to move on, that John would want me to.
To me moving on means getting past the person you are grieving. You don't ever do that. Not if you cared at all for that person.
Grief is personal and everyone does it differently. Every relationship is different too.
But if there was any relationship at all, you don't ever move on from it.  You just live the different life you have now. The life that doesn't have those people in it.