Last night, I slept in the middle of our king-size bed. It took me two years to do that. For 55 years, I shared that bed with my husband.
He never walked on water. Sometimes we broke that cardinal rule and went to sleep angry. But far more often, we embraced that bed, and each other, with tremendous joy, grateful we found mates that showed love, kindness, consideration, and selflessness on an almost daily basis. How unusual is that?
So often people reach out their hand when they hear I’m a widow and say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you,” I answer, “but I only had two years of loss. I had 55 years of gain.”
I know that not everyone has my resiliency. I lead The Widows List.com Web site (www.widowslist.com) as well as several widows clubs at local senior centers, and I give motivational talks to help people learn to “Strive and thrive alone.”
Too often, these people are so grief stricken they find it hard to concentrate on anything except their sorrow. Their sadness has become the focus of their lives, and everything and everyone else is on the periphery.
I try and help them understand that life is not a dress rehearsal. We don’t get to have a “do-over.”
Whatever time we do have left is meant to be spent enjoying, loving, helping and caring for ourselves as well as others.
No one can hurry your grief or mine. No one can tell anyone else when it’s time to pick up living and begin placing those loved ones who died into a beloved memory space. All day every day, I think about my husband, silently telling him funny incidents, and asking myself what he would decide when a problem arises. His photos are on his desk in the den, on our dresser in the bedroom, and in the living room. When I talk to our grown children and grandchildren, one of them usually says, “Oh, that’s just what Dad (or Papa) wouid say.”
He is with me always and last night, after two years spent sleeping on my side of the bed, my husband’s memory finally joined me in the middle.Tags: grief, hope