Well, it’s almost June! I can’t even believe half the year is almost over! Next week will be our 3rd year wedding anniversary. Every year it rolls around, we’re always surprised by how quickly times flies and life has gotten really REAL after we got married. It was like life decided to get real REAL, you know what I mean? My grandmother got really sick, there were multiple deaths in your family in a very short span, and we just kind of fell into dealing with all the lemons and curve balls life was throwing at us. Last year, we were so happy when nobody died in 2017!! We were celebrating the new year with so much hope for 2018, which was supposed to be our year to do better! That’s what you said, “We need to do better in 2018!” I asked, “What does that even mean?!” You said, “Com’on SY, it means just that, ‘we need to do better in everything this year!!” (Honestly, I still have no clue what you mean by ‘do better’...and now you aren’t even here to clarify for me if I’m doing better!) But a week later, the universe decided it had a different plan for us, and you passed away suddenly, without notice and seemingly without cause. I’ve spent more time crying this year than all the years I’ve been alive, and the pain that has taken permanent residence in my heart continues to rage on. I often wonder when this pain will end or go away, even though my therapist has told me numerous times that it will never end or go away. But, you know me, I always remain hopeful!
I’ve been reflecting a lot on my life and the life we’ve built together. These reflections have made me realize why you were so philosophical the last few months before you passed. You were asking deeper and more meaningful questions and giving me more sentimental and insightful responses to the silly questions I would normally asked you like “How much do you love me today?” For the longest time (and I’m talking about years and years here), whenever I ask you that question, you would generally stretch out your arms to a certain distance to show me how much you love me. On some days, you would even use the fingers on one hand and spread them out only a few inches and say, “Today, I only love you this much!” and then you would smile and laugh at me when I give you my 'whatever' look! But, now I realize you were going through your own self-reflection stage of the grief process with your step-mom. The death of someone close has a way of making you scrutinize your life more, while the death of spouse goes even further since it also affects your day to day life. It’s like there’s this ginormous hole in your heart and in your life. Your heart is in pain, and you’re constantly living in some alternate universe where everything looks the same but nothing feels right or normal, especially the people around you. They start looking at you differently like you’re a pariah, or talking to you differently like you're on eggshells and somehow you're going to break into a million pieces if they say the wrong thing or they feel the need to say something enlightening or meaningful or encouraging so they can feel better about themselves. Then there are those people who don’t look at you differently or say anything differently. Instead, they just treat you like normal and offer their shoulder and hands when the pain and grief becomes too unbearable.
The therapist says I’m going to start evaluating and reflecting on all my relationships now that my value system has shifted. (I guess going through a tragedy makes one question and evaluate your value system also!) And now that I don’t have you in my life, I can’t afford to have a small garden either. So, not only do I have to pull some weeds, but I also have to start cultivating a larger and more vibrant garden if I’m going to survive this journey.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.