An open letter to my wife on what would have been our 33rd anniversary.

Jeff and Fawn4

Today would have been 33 years of marriage. It’s hard to know when to stop counting. The words “Happy Anniversary” have lost their meaning. Soon you’ll have been gone for 4 years. Of course the 1st one was the most difficult. They have become easier as time passes. But, easier is not the same as easy. It will never be easy.

Getting accustomed to life without you has been an ongoing project that will never be finished. Reading about others in the same boat and encountering those who have recently lost a spouse reminds me that this is part of life. Not a good part but a part never the less.

After a while I have begun to develop and fall into new patterns. Or perhaps I am just falling back into some of my patterns from when we were not yet married. It is difficult to remember that far back. That was another life. And now, this too is another life.

When a couple marry, we become someone different than the person we were previously. So much changes. And now, being alone again, I am once again becoming someone else. At least that is how it feels. Whoever I become, it is just another part of life. The circumstances that brought us to this point were beyond our control. Now many things are in my control, though not all that I wish. Whatever comes now, be sure that you were, and are a part of who I am. I hope that side of me that you helped make is always a part of me.

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Getting used to being alone

After today it will be three years of life as a….and I don’t like to say it….as a widower. The word is sad and foreboding. Am I becoming accustomed to this life without her? I suppose to some extent, I am. What is my other option?

alone

Tonight is the anniversary of the night she left to spent the rest of eternity with God. It is a new life for her, one that is quite beyond my comprehension but I know it has to be wonderful. Now that some time has passed since that awful time I’m learning to look at my situation in a different light and perspective.

Neither of us chose this new journey that we’ve embarked upon. Hers of course, is the one we will all eventually take. I’ve written enough about being sad and missing her. It’s time to stop writing that way. I’m pretty sure I’ve said all there is to say about that.

Life really is different and trying to embrace the positives without feeling guilty and as though I’m betraying her by being happy is a difficult thing. The alternative would be to stay miserable and sad and to wear it on my sleeve for all to see. It’s a way of proclaiming, look at me, I’m still grieving! But I’ve found that I don’t enjoy being around that person and I’m guessing that no one else does either.

If I’m being transparent, which I usually am, I always have the concern that I’ve become content without her. That somehow I’m glad for it. That I prefer it. It’s an uncomfortable though that I expect is not uncommon in my situation.  Do I like being alone? I like it as much as I did before I was ever married. I had no problem being single. I don’t have any problem with it now except that I expected to live out the rest of my life with her at my side.

It is as though I am two people. One is just a middle-aged single man, with grown up kids and grand-kids who has many years (I hope) ahead to enjoy life. The other is the man who lost his wife and doesn’t know how to let that go.  I walk with one foot in each life, switching back and forth between them.

Learning who I am now, at this new time in life is a challenge. I don’t require sympathy or condolence, maybe just understanding.

I’ve made changes. I have ideas about what I’d like my future to be. Nothing concrete, but some hopes. It really is a process. I guess all we can do is take life day by day. Since it really isn’t the end, it might be the beginning.

future