Monday, July 15, 2013

My 6th Anniversary - To Y'all It's Just Another Day of Bridge



I stole my title from The Help.  It's when Abilene is describing what it's like to go through the anniversary her son's death.  And even though I love just about every line from that movie, that's the one that really speaks to me.

This week, I will mark not only the 6th anniversary of my husband's death, but also my 17th wedding anniversary.  Those dates shouldn't be on your calendar.  And they're actually not marked on mine.  I don't need reminding.

I just know.

For those people who know what it's like to lose someone you never thought you would live without, you know that it's not a date.  It's a presence.  It's a living, breathing thing in your life that you learn to live with.  It's the roommate you never wanted.  It takes up a lot of space.  And it gives you nothing in return for all its taken.

It floats in and out as if it has some key you don't remember giving.

~

I've been writing this blog for a while.  I swore to myself that I would always be honest...and that's why I keep writing.  It's what I would have wanted to read.  I'm not flattering myself on my writing skills....I just wanted to write about this journey, this crazy path I am on.  No matter where I go in life, I will still be here.

When I started this, I wanted to know how someone coped from the beginning - if anyone else out there was as crazy as I was.  If anyone out there was as hopeful as I was.  And if they were somehow digging their way to the surface after being buried under grief...I wanted to know how they did it.  I don't think I've done it gracefully, but I'm here.  Six years later, I'm here.  

And I'm damn proud of myself.

~
I had a dream about my husband this week.  He looked good.  No.  Not good.  He looked great.  If he had appeared to me in real life, I would have hit on him...and I'm a nice southern girl who doesn't do that kind of thing.  He looked radiant, but he was wearing a shirt I don't remember.  It was pink (but all I could think of during the dream was Ross in an episode of Friends saying, "It's salmon!").

He looked so happy.  And we were doing stuff with the kids but, like all of the dreams I have about him, I knew he was dead.

"How long do we have?" I kept asking him over and over.

"I don't know," he told me.  "Just keep going."

My youngest daughter woke me up with a hard jab.

"I had a bad dream," she said.

"Just get in," I told her, gesturing to the other side of the bed and trying to stay as asleep as I could.

But he was gone.

I haven't had many dreams about him, but when I do they always leave me feeling a little lost the next day.  I always know that he was there, that he was with me, but the time always feels too short.  I have never woken up feeling like there is some sort of conclusion or that I got the message he was trying to say.

But I hear him.  

I go to sleep hoping that I'll see him...if just for a minute.

And I carry him with me always.

~

I love you, B.  And I truly believe that you live through me.



Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014).  She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.

11 comments:

  1. I lost my darling going on 5 years ago now. I just wanted to say thank you for this.

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  2. Six years for me too my friend... HUGS

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  3. I wonder if her dream was the flip side of yours...? Dad was there. But then he wasn't. It is so hard to dream of him being there. And then not.

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  4. My death anniversary was Saturday, and you are so so right. Its not a date. Its a presence. And I have those same kind of dreams. I think his message was pretty clear in this one though. We dont know how much time we have together - ever - with anyone. Just keep going ....... Sending you love and hugs, woman xoxo

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  5. I lost my beloved husband just a little over three months ago. He died suddenly and unexpected – suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. So far not one dream about him! I long to have him in my dreams…

    I really liked your post.

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  6. Thank you all for your comments and your support - it goes both ways. I'm thinking of you all as we navigate this road alone, yet together.

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  7. My husband died of cancer - so he knew he was dying. He told his sister that we should celebrate his day of death as his new birthday - into his new afterlife. He was trying to put a positive spin on things, so I try to follow his lead . . . it almost works!!

    Thanks for blogging.

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  8. Bless your heart...I am crying as I read this again...your words always touch my heart and express what I am feeling. Thank you for your honesty; you help more than you could ever imagine. I am not alone.

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  9. It'll be 17 months Monday, the 22nd, losing my precious husband. I am middle-aged, and I am an "empty-nester." I sleep on the couch and have since he passed away...there's less room there for me to reach for him. :( This is the hardest journey I've ever had to take, and I sadly have other widow friends who I just recommended this wonderful page to! I'm glad I found you all!

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    Replies
    1. I have just read this (4/15/14) and want to tell you that I have slept on the living room couch for the last 4 years since my husband died. I'm not sure our bedroom will ever be comfortable for me again.

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