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It's still a very sweet story you tell Froggie4635. Painful though it may be, that double edge sword is if nothing else, tempered with the happy and beautiful side. What hurts today, brings joy tomorrow.
I know. That sword cut me this morning and then I read your post. It reminds me of the happy loving moments.
I started typing something yesterday, hit a wrong key and it was all gone. I took it as a sign that maybe I should just wait and think more. Today I find myself back at the work, beginning the more regimented portion of my time. My schedule isn't that much different than before Mark died...it is now just done without him being here. I still have to get up and get ready, take care of the dogs, pack a lunch, make the trip to work and then put on my brave face and try and think less about Mark while here. It is not always easy. The last day that he was alive was full of celebration. I had been a part of planning our annual staff luncheon, and it was a HUGE success. And my biggest fan was Mark. He even called me that day to find out how it had gone...and BEAMED with pride that day when he picked me up from work and chatted with the staff at the front desk. That night, we celebrated his birthday at his mom's house...he was STILL bragging and beaming about the job I did. When I go to his mom's house now and sit at her table, I can still see Mark sitting at the end of the table, just gabbing away about the things everyone said. There were leftover steaks that night, and they are still frozen in my freezer. It has been 7 months, but I can go right back to that very special day and the contrast of the morning that followed, when I was told in an ER waiting room that he did not make it. I took some time away from deep grieving the past month, but I know it is time to get back to it. I spent my long weekend working on some projects in my studio, to share with his family. He loved to see me in my studio, and sometimes would come in and sit as I worked on something creative. I miss that so much...he would step over to my worktable and kiss me gently. I am so lucky to really know how deeply he loved me, right up to the last night of his life. But it is a double edge sword, because now I have to go on without that love in my life everyday...only it's memory. I still felt like a newlywed right up to the final end. We reveled in what we had found. It wasn't always perfect, but we NEVER fought. We were both hard-headed, but we never butted heads. I feel privileged that I was able to help him find peace and contentment in his life. He made me feel safe. He told me in one of the last letters he wrote that in me he found his refuge from the world. It is so very hard to live without that feeling in my day to day life. But I keep going because I know that is what he would have wanted. I can sometimes feel that familiar nudge of encouragement he always gave me.
I stayed in our house for a year after Dana died - that was long enough. We had lived in that house for ten years together so it wasn't like a "home" place. We had no family there and not many friends at all. It was on a golf course (Dana was a rabid golfer), but it was "out there." I was scared stiff at night. So I put it up for sale, bought a house in the next state south and left. I feel safe here, have decent neighbors, close to shopping and doctors and the barn where I board my equines so I am comfortable. Maybe in five years I'll move to Florida, but we shall see. I couldn't stay there. I saw Dana everywhere, and it just served to make me more miserable.
I will admit that I've done some things to this house that we would have done together, and I know he would have loved this yard. I actually feel Dana more in THIS place than I did in the other place. And I have since found out that the golf course my husband so dearly loved and played on several times a week has gone under. Now it's going to be some kind of "recreational" park. He would have been most unhappy and probably would have sold the house himself.
But again, each of us has to do what we are comfortable doing. Go or stay - it's a personal choice.
Katpilot you always put things so well, my husband put his heart and soul into this home. It was a piece of farm property when we bought it. 14 acres , 10 are now woods 4 he kept mowed, I have to admit that was a challenge for me . When he died I had never mowed it, I took care of the flowers and the interior. He was very handy and did a lot of the added touches inside we decorated the rooms together. l will admit it was all to much at first and all I wanted was out ! At 2 yrs now I know this is home, I'm not going anywhere.
Lucky though my daughter and her husband want to buy it and have me add a mother in law suite. My son in law won't let me mow (thats a plus) got to admit I actually miss it . They say it's a where we all feel closer to Dad and my granddaughter feels closer to grampy. They love the house and land, it is beautiful ! And yes since they have moved in , a few things have been broken, things they are only things. We are trying to work out this journey together. For some there may be reasons to move, for me I've learned the reason to stay. Thank you for your many posts you always say things so well.
For some of us, we never leave the homes we shared and if because of economic reasons, we can stay, then we are truly blessed. I certainly share the feelings many of you do about the connection to house and the husbands and wives who we've lost. I am further along this path at 4 1/2 years but this house is where I will remain. We bought it when we first married in 1998 and it was built in 67. It was a "fix me upper" for sure and everything about it changed. It evolved into a combination of both of us. Kathy was the interior and I was the exterior. We never bought a thing unless we both liked it. That was her demand even if she wanted something, and her taste was awesome, she had to have me want it too. The truth is, I would have liked anything she chose because it came from her. How could I not?
Now when I look around, I see the decorating, the furniture, the art, and I realize that I'm home. I'm right where she took us and don't want to change a thing. But here's the rub. Things wear out. This next February, it will be five years. Things just wear out and you can't avoid it. My grandchildren are already proving that to be true. When the first item was broken, an important piece we collected on a trip, I was devastated. Then it happened again, and after a while, I came to realize that it's only just "stuff. Those things aren't much different than the rugs or the plants, or a host of other things that would not have lasted even if she was alive. Things just wear out, and we begin to realize it. What I do next is what counts. Now I replace things with what has become the evolved 'me'. I am and so are all of you, a person who has been affected by living and loving another. For all those years of living and loving Kathy, I am a person made up of two people. We grew to be a little like each other and now when I make a decision on replacing something, or changing the house in some way, I make those decisions with a little part of her inside myself. We never did change the sliding doors to the patio even though we talked about it. I finally did it two months ago. I put in French doors and they are gorgeous. Now when I stand back and look at them, I just know she would love them too. I can feel her smiling. So that's what I mean when I speak of moving on. That is what it means to me. I live in this house quite content to remain hoping one day to die an old man right here in my sleep. In a perfect world of course.
I hope for all who are new to this journey, that you can come to understand how things can be replaced when they break or wear out. It takes time but you can't freeze it. even though we wish we could. The good news is that there will always be things of theirs that will remain.
Hi Leslie in Little Rock, Thankyou very much for your reply. I am also actually 2yrs. & 5 mnths. out from the sudden and unexpected death of my husband from heart problems. I think i have posted on this thread before, but it would have been a while ago if i did. This grief thing sucks big time. Some days i think how unfair that we can't even know what happens when our loved one dies and what happens to them. Why can't we just see them every now and again and catch up? Why does it have to be this stupid guessing game about death, surely it should be no big secret. So many frustrating questions and no answers, its just awful :(
A short time before Mark passed, we sat in the back yard and he talked about the peace and contentment he felt in his "little corner of the world". I received a special gift after he passed. I was going through his email account, looking for anything I might have to take care of, and I found an invoice from an orchard. Turns out he had ordered a tree to plant in our front yard...the same type of tree, a willow oak, that was in the front yard of the house he grew up in. It was delivered a few days after his funeral service; I had one of his brothers plant it. I plan to nurture it and when it is big and tall, will sit under it. Before it was put in the ground, I wrote a note to Mark and laid it in the hole. I will do what I can while traveling on my grief journey to honor Mark. His family all say that I saved his life; he saved mine. He brought me the love I waited for my entire life. With him I felt safe, and encouraged to find ways to express my creativity. The day before he died, he beamed with pride over the job I did planning our annual staff luncheon at work. He was my biggest fan, and I was his.
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