Recently, in reading another blog, I read how a particular blogger rarely (if ever) returned to his old posts. Post and move on seemed to be his mode. Me, however, I am quite the opposite.
Often I refer back to old posts for perspective on how life has changed. Sometimes, I am drawn there like a tracking dog following the tracks of some undefined feeling or instinct. Earlier this week, my pull there was a combination of the two.
I wondered, How is this day significant? I looked back through my posts and remembered days that, although I’d love to forget, I will honestly never be able to fully put behind me. Those were tougher times than today for sure. Even though the days are well behind me, the experiences without doubt had a chiseling effect (be it gouging lasting scars or smoothing of rough edges) on the shaping of the me of today.
As the anniversary of Tom’s passing nears, I find myself analyzing my new-found acceptance of the loss. I ask: Is it wrong that I am no longer caught up in the life-that-never-was? Am I supposed to be sad? Or is it okay that I am generally happy again? Even my reference to Tom’s passing has changed from “my husband died” to “YaYa’s father died.”
It didn’t mean for it to happen; it just did.
Earlier this week, a neighbor and friend of mine recommended a book she’d recently picked up from her church bookstore. Titled “Losing Normal,” this book tells 3 women’s stories of the pain and loss. Although I am only partway through the 1st story, I suspect that each story will begin as the 1st — in the immediate hours before the loss.
From the very 1st page, the tears begin to flow, and I wonder why my neighbor felt that I should read this book now — 4 years after I experienced this type of slam to my universe. I can only guess, given this book resides in her church library and is written by 3 women who attend her church, that this book has a Godly message buried within the pages. A message that I can hear now, but perhaps not a year ago. I don’t know. I suppose I must have a little patience AND faith that it (or some other reason) will reveal itself to me soon.
Every year, the milestone (anniversary of Tom’s passing) brings a deeper understanding of the how to move on. Never the why though. I’ve long but given up on uncovering that.
Each year I experience the days leading up to d-day a little different. I’ve struggled with remembering the final days so vividly that the pain was too intense to actually feel like I could function in present time. I’ve also experienced seemly normal pain-free days where it seems like my life was always supposed to go this way. If anything, I want to use the day to support the boys’ needs and continue to honor their dad’s memory. However, moving forward, I want to do this in a way that is without the sadness and doom-and-gloom which it seems we are taught must accompany d-day.
Oddly, or perhaps not odd at all, as I create this mock up (entertain this notion), I begin questioning if it is okay. Must I always grieve on d-day? Would it be wrong to simply be joyful? Is this the real reason why I’ve been given this book — to stimulate the water-words that the day must bestow?
Surely, I hope not.
Meanwhile, emails arrive from my widow-friends noting the coming of our “sad day.” I refrain from noting how I am not sad but rather content, happy even, and how I feel that I’ve found a new norm. Instead, I simply smile as I write “Hug & kisses to you both. I love you. More later.”
I hesitant to put this out here before d-day has come and gone. So hesitant in fact that this post has already been pulled into “draft” 3 times since I initially hit “publish.”
You see, I’ve felt this way before only to have my taste of happiness bulldozed away. So…
I think I’ll end this by simply writing “Hug & kisses to you all. I love you. More later.”