Saturday, February 21, 2015

The First Year.

Anniversaries are suppose to be a happy celebration. Tomorrow's date however, takes on a whole new meaning for me as it commemorates the day Ken died. One year ago.

That is why it is so significant to me. Not because it is the first anniversary of his death – everyday is a day without him – but because I was racing ahead of myself to reach this point. As though by ticking off the so-called major milestones it would be time to start over.

This whole month actually has been very stressful for me as it is filled with many anniversaries. We were married this month too! So just imagine how days leading up to these dates had knocked me for a loop. I would liken it to the two weeks before my menstrual period. My emotions were always on high alert. I cry easily and laugh the next. I think it is more the anticipation of “the day”. It is about reliving those last moments, especially since the death was unexpected. I thought about how I might have lived those last couple of weeks/months differently. Those time period burdened with regrets and lots of what-ifs.

I know that this first year anniversary will hold the most importance to me. It is a marker of all that I have accomplished by myself. I have managed to cope with all the seasons of the year and the hard days they have brought. I have made independent decisions. I have supported myself financially and emotionally. I have grown more than I can imagine. There is no doubt I have come along way in a year. I’m back at work, I can hold conversations that are not about my loss and, perhaps most importantly, I have had moments of pleasure, which I would never have thought possible a year ago. But I am not ‘over it’. My husband’s death still takes my breath away time and time again. It still stabs me in the heart when I least expect it. Sometimes it takes all my effort and composure to walk into our home. Sometimes I still cannot believe he was even gone.

But, I also believe that my grief will not magically dissipate after the first anniversary. No! I don't think that in one year, or two or five, I will not miss Ken or feel the pain of his absence. Grief will never totally dissolved. I don’t expect to wake up one morning and feel like I did before my loss. That is not possible, for I am changed forever (but not necessarily in a bad way). What time did is give me more perspective. I have found that time did dissolve the actual physical hurt that I felt inside. It gave me the option of deciding when I will feel my grief and when I can compartmentalize it - that is, put it away for a while and deal with the present.

Tomorrow, I will visit his grave. I want to look back and think that, despite our loss, Ken and I did alright. We had fun. And we rocked.

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