8 (or is it 5?) years

1 Apr

In May I will experience the 8th anniversary of my wedding.  Experience it, not celebrate it.  Bittersweet. It is strange how number milestones can effect us.  But saying (or even just thinking) the numbers can sometimes hurt.  So it is 8 years, right?

Yet, 2013 marks my 5 years without him.  And, even though it is the 8 year anniversary coming up, its the 5 year loss that I am feeling.   Has it really been 5 years??  Really?  In a way it doesn’t seem possible.  Yet, in an other way it seems like its been so long.

He was my husband.  My Love.  My life.  We had only 3 short years together, yet those years meant and still mean everything to me.

It was a second-hand romance for both of us.  One I never expected, but am so very, very thankful for.  Even though it hurts (so much sometimes still) to be without him, because of him I experienced true love.

As an endearment, I called him Love.  He was. And I miss my love.  I miss his smile.  I miss hearing his smile in his voice.  I miss the wonderful feeling of being loved.  I miss my best friend.  My lover, my mate–my husband.  And I miss loving him.

This been a  hard winter for me.  Since last fall I have been a widow longer than I was married to him.  Widow–from the Latin–separate.   Not a word I like.  Separated.  Part of me is missing.  Gone.  Not just a temporary parting, but gone.  Widowhood.  The time of being a widow.  A state of being.  Nothing about it is easy.

The experts’ say it can be a time in life when we can find new meaning.  So far, I have learned the meaning of loss.  The meaning of loneliness.  I had never been lonely before.  Alone, yes.  But not lonely.  Lonely now, because of having had him and his love, because now he isn’t here.

Yet, too, I have found new meaning in the word ‘thankful’.  Thankful for those precious years we had together.  For the wonderful opportunity to love and be loved.  For having a mate with which I could share everything.  For having a best friend.  Thankful, too, for family and friends that try to fill the gap for me.  It means so much to know that others care.

Whether I call it 5 or 8 years, it is still a milestone. With milestones I think of progress.  Progress?  Sometimes.  In some ways.  I am trying to build a life again–without him.  Hard, but for the most part I suppose I am doing ok.  Although, other times I wonder.  I wonder if it will ever get easier.  It seems from what I’ve faced so far the answer isn’t concrete.  For me its been a sometimes thing.  Sometimes, I’m doing good.  Sometimes, not.  Sometimes I’m filling my days with things that get me away from my self.  But other days I seem to need to just cry a bit.

When I think of either the 5 or the 8 year time frame, I think of all the memories.  Some good, some not so good.  But how very, very wonderful that I have them.  How, even though he is gone, he is still with me through my memories.  Sometimes he seems very close to me, and other times just a memory.  I love the memories that come that make me smile.  Smile remembering him.

I continue to work on making this new existence be enough.  Enough for my new life.  Although it helps to keep busy, I don’t want to fill my time just doing stuff to be busy.  I want my life to have meaning.  I’m trying to reach out to others more.

Today I read some blogs about losing a spouse.  Although it made me cry, it helped.  And after reading a few, I realized I needed to write in my blog.  It wasn’t just that reading my blog might help someone else. It was more that I needed to write.  Writing seems to be a form of therapy for me.  

I am learning to enjoy the little things.  The sun coming through the clouds.  The new spring blooms and buds popping out.  Spring is coming.  A couple of barn swallows built a nest over my back door.  Although it looks like a mess, I can’t bear to tear it down.  I love to see them flying to and from the nest.  There will be new life.  Hope.

I value the precious times spent with friends and family.  And I even value my solitude.  Just as long as I don’t have too much of it.  I am learning when I need to reach out and when it is ok to just be alone.

I’m learning its ok to have strange habits.  If I wake up in the night, who cares?  Who cares if I go to bed early the next night?  Or even if I take a nap in the daytime.   Who cares what I eat or when I eat it?  Although I could feel sorry for myself that no one cares, I choose, instead, to relish my freedom that I’m the one who decides.

Well, it seems I’ve run out of words.  As I reflect on what I’ve written, I’m thinking that maybe I will celebrate the 8 years.  Celebrate what it has given me.  Concentrate on what that date brought into my life.  What I’ve learned.  Keep working at accepting the loss.  And value the things, the precious things that remain.

One Response to “8 (or is it 5?) years”

  1. Grace July 17, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Speechless. I don’t know how I’d cope if I was in the same situation.

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