The past weekend was filled with family and many wonderful new memories. My oldest stayed overnight and we cooked meals ahead for my granddaughter who is returning to college. It was also “sleep over time at grandma’s” with my 7 and 4 year old grandsons. And, while all of it added up to a lot of activity in two short days, it was an oasis of joy and a touch of normalcy in a world besieged by a global pandemic, a war in Ukraine, and political scandals, to name just a few of the major events of the last two plus years. When you add in the death of a loved one, specifically, for me, my husband of 27 years, it literally makes my head spin. Given the absence of the physical presence of him in all of this family activity, honestly, I’d be surprised if I didn’t find myself being caught off guard by a “grief ambush.” And, even though it would be nice to get so far ahead of this grief character that I could stop it from interrupting my forward progress in carving out a new life on my own, I can say that these attacks of grief are less frequent and much less intense than they were when all of this was new. It all boils down to not being able to wrap my mind around the fact that I will never see my husband again: never hear his voice say my name — Never touch, hug or kiss him.
So, while the weekend was filled spending time with family making many new memories, it was, none-the-less, bittersweet. In the background there was always the nagging reminder that a huge piece of life is missing from the picture. . . Missing again. Still. Forever. I’m wondering how long it will take for my brain to “normalize” these kinds of situations? Normalize them to the point where my takeaway is just feeling good about it all the next day, rather than being left with a “grief hangover”? I know . . . it’s different for everyone, but for me, at just 10 days shy of 16 months since my husband died, I guess I am not as close to finding a “new normal” as I thought I might be. Darn it.
Work Yet to Do Death took your life and wiped it away. Now I'm left here wondering why you couldn't stay. My mind goes in circles. I feel so confused, and this life that I'm living is not one I'd choose. Your absence is in every breath that I take. Sometimes being "OK" is a feeling I fake. Yet even though you are forever now gone the memories of loving you will always go on. And I'll keep on living, keep doing my best to pick up the pieces, let God do the rest. We had a great life and I want you to know that your memory goes with me wherever I go. Julieanne Gentz 8-22-22