Saturday, August 27, 2016

Our 35th Wedding Anniversary

It's our 35th wedding anniversary tomorrow.
I know John would have bought me flowers so I decided to celebrate as he would have and I ordered these for us.
Thank you, Sweetheart.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A sign of encouragement

I was at a group reading last Friday evening given by a medium friend Susanne Wilson. In fact, I was privileged to introduce Susanne to the audience. And one of the things that Susanne talked about before she started doing the readings was how our loved ones who have passed are so happy to show us how they are still very much with us. Susanne encouraged us to continue talking with them, even to go so far as to talk out loud to them.
I talk to John all the time, sometimes out loud. Since I now live alone [except for my four-legged children] I don't worry about strange looks. For some reason [maybe it's the increased solitude], one of the times I feel closest to John is when I am driving. And John even told me during a reading once that he accompanies me in the car which is another reason I feel very close to him at these times. At these times, I allow my thoughts to drift. Memories pop up. And sadness too. Sometimes tears are shed. But I carry on lovely conversations as well.
And I know that John likes this time together too because he often gets my attention during drive time. One of his favorite ways is with license plates. I can't tell you how many times I have been thinking about - or conversing with - John and all of a sudden a license plate with an obvious message will pull in front of me. His favorite is variations of his name.
So this past week I was driving to an appointment and thinking about my business From Grief To Peace and how my partners and I want to make an impact. I was also a little upset because I had just read the blog post of an online friend who was widowed just a few weeks before me. This woman was experiencing what many of us have - that some of her "friends" thought it was time that she "got over" this mourning business and "moved on" with her life. Apparently, some people believe there is a shelf life for grief and she had exceeded it.
"Get Over It" only works in a wonderful Eagles song. It has nothing to do with grief and mourning, as anyone who has truly lost their soul mate can tell you. So, as I already mentioned, I was driving along, thinking about all these things and how I wanted our business to help people like her.
And that is when it happened.
A small SUV pulled up in front of me. It's license plate?

Pretty strong message that was not lost on me. I took it two ways. Maybe John was trying to "encourage" us to keep on doing what we are doing. Or/and the Universe was also saying it was our job to keep encouraging others who are mourning.
Just as I was thinking about all this, the SUV crossed in front of me and sped on its way. Its job was done.
Message received. Thank you.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

35 years ago

35 years ago today John proposed to me. 
And we officially started the next part of our wonderful journey together.
I haven't been feeling well this past week and I have been dreaming about John a lot. 
Or maybe I should say he has been appearing in my dreams because they have felt more like visits than just random dreams.
Maybe John is trying to comfort me.
Regardless, I have cherished being able to be with him again.
When I wake up from those dreams, for just a little while, the good feeling remains and the world seems right again.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The music that is John's name

There is a meme running around Facebook on the grief pages that essentially says something along the line that you shouldn't be afraid to mention the name of someone's loved one who has passed. You won't be reminding us that they are dead and making us sad. We already know they are dead. But talking about them makes us happy.
That was the long way around to saying what it said in much shorter pithier terms but I'm sure you get the idea.
Tom Zuba author of Permission To Mourn is a grief expert, if there is such a thing. He has experienced a lot of loss in a few short years [his son, his baby daughter, and his wife] and he has made it his life's work to change the face of grief and how we the grievers and you the supporters of us react to and experience grief. We who mourn owe him a lot.
So, the point of my post today is to reiterate what I hope I have already made obvious - please do not shy away from talking with us about our soul mates whom we have lost.
I had a very nice experience myself just last week. My air conditioner was due for its annual check-up and I went with a new [to me] company. The technician they sent was probably one of the most upbeat and happy people I have ever met. In fact, he reminded me a lot of my John. This man's name was Rusty and he smiled all the time. He was efficient and knowledgeable and we fell into an easy conversation while he wrote up my bill as we stood in my kitchen. We talked about many things and as we Arizonans often do, we got around to talking about where we lived before coming to AZ and why we chose AZ. I can't tell my story without mentioning John because it's all wound up together. Inevitably, Rusty asked what my husband does for a living now and I had to explain that John had passed away in 2010. Rusty said the usual "I'm sorry" but he didn't leave it at that. No, he mentioned that John must have been very young [thank you, Rusty - that must mean I look young too :)] and he was even brave enough to ask me what happened. So, I was able to tell my story. I got to mention John's name several times. I was in the company of someone who cared and showed interest; who didn't change the subject and make me feel uncomfortable.
Rusty will never know what a gift he gave me that day.
So, I am telling his story here so that his example will live on.
This young man knew innately what I have often said.
I know John is gone.
Talking about him isn't going to make me sad - or sadder.
In fact, it will do the exact opposite.
For those few minutes, talking about John made him alive again.
John and I were together for 34+ years.
He was the person I laughed with, loved with, argued with, made up with, vacationed with, ate with, sat on the deck with, drank wine with, slept with, worried about, kissed, hugged - and a million other things with.
Just because he is gone now doesn't erase all that. Being able to talk about him with someone is a treasured gift.