02 July 2009

Six Months and Counting...

This is the six month anniversary of the death of my husband. One hundred eighty days. I have missed him every minute of every day.

Strangely enough, today, a friend gave me two pictures of my husband and I that I didn't know existed. Was is coincidence? Was it my husband's way of reminding me that we had a wonderful life together and that we would always share our love for each other even if we were apart? Think what you want, I don't know.

What I DO know is that I have successfully made it through six months without my best friend. It has been hard and I have mostly hated it, but I have faced it and I have DONE it. Done it in a foreign country, thousands of miles from family. I've gotten myself a great follow on job to the current one, in a new location. I have refused to surrender to all the unpleasant things that come after you lose a loved one. But, I have NOT done it alone. I have been supported by many dear, dear friends to whom I will be forever grateful. My journey is not completed, but I am making it, day by day.

Some people expected me to fold my tent and meekly return to what they consider to be a safe place for me. They have asked me why I don't want to return to the security of my family and friends. They can't understand why anyone would not want to be in their "home" (that being somewhere within a 50 mile radius of their birthplace). That may work for some people, but it's not for me. I need to be in a place where I can be me and not my husband's widow. I loved him with everything I had, but he did not define me. I was "me" before we married and I was "me" while we were together, and I insist on being "me" now that he's gone.

It's kind of funny and kind of annoying that people think you must follow some kind of predetermined "process" for grieving. While Elizabeth Kubler-Ross did great things for many people by examining grief, she did many of us a disservice, too. There are a surprisingly large number of people who adhere strictly to her definition of the grieving process and if you are doing it differently, you are doing it wrong. Many of these people are "professionals" and were taught this as part of their training. Pity they weren't taught that this is a generalization, not a prescribed order of "business". In the case of humans and their emotions, one size truly does not fit all.

Darling man, it has been six long, often lonely, months. I miss you every day and I love you every day.

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