Life After Loss- 10 Years
Today is my late husband’s birthday. He would have been 60 years old. I remember so vividly when he turned 50 because that was the last birthday that we got to spend with each other. He died five months later. We celebrated him turning 50 BIG. We went to Las Vegas with my sister and brother-in-law. It was such a fun time, and we were so excited about the future, but life didn’t go as we had planned.
2022 marks 10 years since he passed away, I can’t believe that 10 years could have possible passed, but this is where my kids and I find ourselves. 10 years without him -10 years of being The Three Musketeers – 10 years of grieving, growing, and GRACE- grace is the big one. We have extended grace to each other as we have each maneuvered our lives without him.
I’ve been physically feeling this milestone. It hasn’t happened in a few years, but most years as spring rolls around and I get closer to April 29, the day he passed away, my body seems to physically respond before my mind realizes what is happening. I know that seems strange if you haven’t suffered a tragic loss, but it happens to many of us.
Besides 2022 marking 10 years without him, my daughter is getting married in June. It’s been a struggle at times to plan and talk about the wedding knowing that she won’t have her dad there to walk her down the aisle. We don’t dwell on it, but we have talked and cried about certain aspects of it.
I always try to mentally prepare myself for difficult days in this Life After Loss. Before my son’s wedding in 2019, I spent months preparing my mind and heart because I wanted to make it through the day without any tears. It ended up being a beautiful day with only happy tears.
For some reason R’s birthday approaching, and it being 10 years, and planning the wedding that he won’t attend has taken its toll a bit. I’m back to my body physically responding. I start crying for no reason while driving to the grocery store. Luckily these physical responses have always been short lived, and I go on into the store like a normal person!
A few months ago 60 Minutes did a segment on Tony Bennett and his last performance with Lady GaGa. Tony Bennett has Alzheimer’s, and his son thought that it would be good to let him give one last performance with Lady GaGa at Radio City Music Hall.
Anderson Cooper interviewed Tony, his wife, and Lady GaGa at different times during the rehearsals and performances. At one point Cooper asks Lady GaGa if it will be sad knowing that these will likely be his last performances.
She brilliantly responds, “It won’t be sad. It will be emotional.”
Eureka! That’s just what I needed to hear. I don’t want R’s birthday, year 10, my daughter’s wedding to be sad. All of these things will be emotional! I won’t allow them to be sad.
I will allow Emotional!
After R passed away, I didn’t dream about him very often. Some people have wonderful dreams where they are “visited” by their loved one who passed away, but that never happened for me.
When I had started moving forward in my life, I had a dream that I will never forget. R was missing. I knew he had passed, but he was missing. In my dream, I went to church, but I left before the service started because how could I stay there knowing he was missing? I thought of calling the police, but I knew they would know he had passed away and think I was weird for being concerned that he was missing so I sat in the parking lot of the church. That was the dream.
The meaning of the dream? Even though I was moving forward, R was still missing.
Even though our family has grown with others whom I dearly love, and we are happy, R is still missing.
He will be missing for the rest of our lives.
Am I sad about it? I’ve worked through my funk today. I’ll be OK. My kids will be OK.
I’m not sad. I’m emotional.