Monday, February 19, 2018

The wonderful gift of our time together

My second journal entry was a long quote:

"Grief can destroy you, or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn't allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it's over and you're alone, you begin to see that it wasn't just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying about a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life."-Dean Koontz

An amazing collection of sentences that are so true for most couples.

I've shared this with others, who are in the midst of grief, because it was so helpful to me. I knew T would never want me to disrespect the wonderful gift of life.

It also reminded me of a quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption: "I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying."

This became my second frequently used mantra.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The first journal entry and the first mantra

I started this blog on Day #60 of Life without T.

The first 59 days were a struggle for sure-filled with all the usual feelings related to bereavement-extreme sadness, crying spells, anxiety over pretty much everything, insomnia, anorexia, weight loss, guilt and questioning if I could have been a better husband and/or told T more often how much I appreciated and loved her. I felt overwhelmed and had recurring thoughts of wishing I had been the first to die.

There were also times that I was angry at her for leaving me and forcing me to figure out so many things on my own. These represented the times that I was actually the most functional, in terms of getting things done, however, so that was sort of a good thing.

Before my daughter returned for the start of her second year of college she gave me a blank notebook. I knew what it was meant for. She has written in a journal for some time. It encouraged me to read more and put my thoughts, or those of others, down in writing.

The first entry was 8/19/2015. It was from a blog entitled "Lost Without Her:"

"You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back, or you can open your eyes and see that she has left. Your heart can be empty because you can't see her or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her only that she is gone or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back OR you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on."

"Smile, open your eyes, love and go on" became the first of many mantras I used for helping me to get through a day.

The mantras didn't stop the waves of emotion but they did help to keep me from drowning.

It was a good start.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Moving on, finally, I think

I haven't checked in for a while.

It's been over 2 and 1/2 years since T died.

I'm doing well.

I came across a list of the top 37 things people regret when they are old.

Checking in at #17 was " not moving on fast enough."

Old people look back at the long periods picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.

Maybe I'm not old enough yet but I don't regret the time I've spent working through the grief.

Some might think that 2 and 1/2 years is a long time and others won't.

I do feel like I'm finally moving on.

I'm going to spend some time contemplating on how I got to this point and putting some thoughts down here again.

Some things that many wrote helped me to get to this point.

I hope my thoughts might help someone who is dealing with a loss as well.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Silver day

Today would have been our Silver anniversary-the big two-five.
Tori and I were married for just under 23 years but we were a team for almost 28.
I sure loved her and I know she loved me.
I'm actually smiling because of how lucky I was to have had such a great marriage-I know many are not so fortunate-and because of how amazing she was as our children's mother.
The last couple of years I've cried a lot on this date.

I'm not crying today-I'm just filled with gratitude-and that's a really nice change.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Re-programming my thoughts

"The great thing. if one can, is to stop regarding all of the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own" or "real" life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life-the life God is sending one day by day.-C.S. Lewis

Friday, July 28, 2017

Let it be

"It's time to just be happy...being angry, sad or overthinking isn't worth it anymore...just let things positive."-Author unknown

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dread be gone?

"He'd begun to wake up in the morning with something besides dread in his heart...a kind of urge to be eager, a longing to be happy."-Jon Hassler

I'm glad to feel some joy again. Thankful it's the case. Hoping it will be the new normal.