Hello, my friend Linda. Where are you? We haven't chatted in a while. I so hope you are well and just living your life...a happy life...and that you have been too busy with wonderful things to check into WV. If not...if you need to talk...please let me know. I'm thinking of you, dear.
Hello, my friend. Its been a while, hasn't it? Thank you for your kind words. I don't comment as much lately...I guess I go through phases on Widville just like everything else. Gary was 54 when he left, wasn't he? My Rick was 56. Too soon. Too soon. And now I feel to old to get motivated. I've had a few people give me that tired old line, "You're still young, Cindy...." and you know where it goes from there. But I can't see it, I just can't see it. I was married for 32 years and I just can't see anything else...or anyone else. How do you feel about this after six years, Linda? How do you look at the future now? Has your outlook changed since the time when you first lost Gary, or is it about the same? I guess I just don't know what to do with myself...or what to think about life anymore. Feeling down lately. I think it has something to do with these pesky holidays...they are getting in the way of my healing, you know? :)
Hello, Linda. Thank you for your last message. I've been really busy at work...which is a good thing (whether I like it or not). :) I hope you have been well and busy in a way you like! Have more meetings and work trips coming up through November and I'm trying my best to stay organized and motivated. It is a little easier when I refuse to let my heart wander away from me. To tell you the truth, I have to keep from looking at Rick's picture all the time (like I usually do). I have his photos everywhere...and I mean everywhere! I find that looking at his face is distracting me from concentrating on what I'm supposed to be doing. Or, at least, I work so much slower than if I keep my eyes and mind on what I'm doing. Oh, that sounds so lame, doesn't it? What have you been up to lately? Talk to you soon...Cindy
Hi, Linda. I haven't logged in for some time. I've just been trying to get through the days, you know? Coming up on a year now...its really bothering me. I feel really, really blue. Can't shake it...not sure if I need to try to shake it. I guess there is still a big part of me that is waiting for Rick to come home. Just walk through the door and pick up where we left off. I can't believe that it won't happen. I'm trying not to lay in bed and cry...but I have to admit I've done it a few times in the last month. I'm better now. Trying to get things done around the house...trying not to dwell on things I cannot change...trying not to lose control over myself.
I don't mean to whine. I go through these stages, like all of us do. I will be brighter, stronger, something...in a little while.
I hope you are well, Linda. I do think of you and everyone here at WV. I just didn't have the heart or energy to write anything lately.
Oh, Linda. I'm not sure about being strong. I am some days when I least expect it...and others...well, I'm just a lump. And do I feel robbed? Oh my goodness, yes. Robbed of my best friend, an arm, a leg, half my brain. We, too, were looking forward to retiring. I'm 51 now. Rick was 56. We were at the point where we could see it around the corner...retiring from work! More free time! The freedom to plan our days any way we wanted. It's not that I don't like my job, I just am old enough now to know how much more there is to living...so much more than just working. But what else will I do now? I have my daughters and little grandson. They have been an indescribable comfort to me, but they have to live their own lives...and I want them to. But I'm afraid I might get a little to clingy, you know? There is no one else who knows me as well as they do...nearly as well as Rick knew me. No one else I have that intimate bond with, besides Rick. So they are it...and the thought of them moving far away just kills me. But that's the funny thing, you know? It won't kill me if it happens. I mean, I lost my Rick and THAT didn't kill me...even though I thought I was dying for months. Now I realize that indeed, I am not dying...I am living and I have to figure out what to do with that each day. It's exhausting. Wow...I must sound really depressing...I just hate that. I didn't used to be this way, though when I look back, I don't remember myself very well...I only remember Rick. But you know, so many women live good, productive lives after they loose their husbands. We will too, Linda. We will figure it out just as they have done and we will be alright. We will. We will.
Hi there, Linda. Sorry for the delay. And I'm sorry you have that guilt about how Gary died. But you know, I'm sure Gary knew you loved him and that you would never have failed to get him medical care if you had known how serious it was...but how could you have known? Gary knows that, Linda. It was just his time...and no matter which way I slice it, it was Rick's time too.
Rick died in his sleep. He was only 56. He was up and walking around the day before. We were busy working in the house and got a lot done that day. The next morning, he was gone...and I still can't believe it.
Now, Rick had been sick. Serious bouts of pneumonia, COPD events, circulation issues, back problems. But he had had a good summer last year. He sailed through June, July, August. We went to the Georgia mountains and spent a long weekend on his birthday (thank goodness).
Then September came. Everything was fine. That night he was breathing smooth and deep...I thought he would sleep well and wake up refreshed. I couldn't have been more wrong. But I just couldn't let them do an autopsy. I know that may sound strange...but I knew in my heart that he would go first. I just couldn't have known it would be at such a young age. I was hoping he would live through his sixties...I've got a lot of nerve, don't I? To think he would live into his sixties? How sad it all is. I just couldn't stand the thought of the details of an autopsy...after all, what did it matter? Rick had serious issues, and knowing which one of them took him away wouldn't do a thing to bring him back. Not a thing. I was so distraught...as I'm sure you were. I felt like someone ripped my insides out...and they're still missing!
And now here I am...here we are. Unbelievable. I just float around now in this dream-like state. I don't cry myself sick every day like I did in the beginning, but I'm so empty. Don't have a direction. I'm piecing things together...cleaning through stuff...selling some things...you know what I mean. But its always in the back of my mind that I'm not really sure what I'm doing...that I'm on the verge of making a mistake or doing something stupid. Just doubting and second-guessing myself, I suppose. I always talked to Rick about everything. He was my buddy, my best friend. I trusted him completely, absolutely...and that is a lot to loose.
It sounds like you and Gary must have been the same way.
I don't mean to sound negative. I guess it's just one of those days...days you are familiar with...too familiar with. Everything is just less bright today for some reason.
You know, I bet it is that I just remembered that it will be one year in about six weeks. One whole, unbelievable, foggy year. I just can't wrap my head around it.
Ok...that's enough out of me. (I have a big mouth, as you can tell!) But it's so nice to have someone who understands to chat with. And I appreciate your patience with me.
Have a good evening and wonderful day tomorrow, Linda.
Linda, you should search the blogs here for this topic...about saying the name of the one you love out loud. I think you can simply search for the word "name" and it should appear. It is about this very conversation we're having...and it is wonderful.
Oh, Linda...I talk about Rick ALL THE TIME! And I see the same expression on the faces, hear the same silence you are talking about. But somehow, Linda, something in me forces me to speak his name out loud. I will not bow down to others' discomfort...not when it comes to Rick. ESPECIALLY for those who knew and loved him too! It isn't right! He was here! He was (IS) wonderful! He contributed to this world and is as worthy of conversation as topics in the news, meaningful historical events, Abraham Lincoln!
The way I combat this discomfort is to make my listeners used to be uncomfortable! Maybe if they hear his name often enough, they will loosen up and talk about Rick with me. I don't want to cry all the time...I don't cry all the time. I've made it my mission to think on 32 years of happiness I and others shared with the most wonderful, influential man of my life. I want to hear their perspectives about things Rick said and did. I love to hear how much they loved him. I have to show them that its ok to talk to me about Rick...I don't know how else to do it but keep Rick in my conversation...let them see that I won't cry most of the time when I'm talking about him. And maybe, with time, they will forgive me when I do.
If, however, I don't see an easing up of the discomfort, I must distance myself. I am always going to be Rick's wife. I am other things too, but that role was one of my most cherished and I will not ignore it for anyone else's sake.
I can't believe we are in this position, Linda. There is still a big part of me that can't believe this has happened...and I can't change it. I can't change it. It's such a helpless feeling, isn't it? But the only way I can survive is to remember Rick well and remember him often...and speak his name.
I just hope everyone else will come along for the ride.
Hello, Linda. I haven't been on in a while and it was so nice to see your message. I was (and still am in some ways) such a nerd. I never had the nerve to go on blind dates...in fact, Rick was the 3rd official date of my life! (I met him when I was 17/married him at 18). You are my hero! So brave to even GO on a blind date!
But isn't that funny? How you can have a negative initial reaction to someone like you did to Gary, and then it turn out that he is THE ONE for you? You never know, do you? You never know...
What made you meet up with him again after that date? There must have been something magnetic or oddly coincidental that happened...and how fortunate it did!
And you know, that makes me think that we also don't know that our lives now may turn out very well and very happy...even while we sit in the middle of this awesome loss and heartache. Don't get me wrong, I'm not necessarily talking about meeting someone else...I can't even fathom that. I'm talking about developing meaningful relationships, working in our calling in life (if we are lucky enough to know what it is or find it if we don't), and being a positive presence in the world. Because we 'never know', it leaves a world of possibilities open, doesn't it? That lifts my heart a little to think on that.
Right now, I am still trying to make my mind, heart, arms, and legs wake up from this terrible numbness that set in the day I lost my Rick. It's like I had to learn to walk all over again, think all over again, work all over again.
But it helps me to hear your story...to read all the wonderful ways that couples met and became one with each other, like you and Gary...me and Rick. I don't feel so alone anymore.
Please tell me more as it comes to you...the funny things, the challenges, the traditions you created together. It will help you to reflect on all the days that made you one with Gary...it helps to erase the sadness of the last day and bring forth the days that really mattered...all those LIVING days that God gave you with your Gary. And it will then help me at the same time to know...I am not alone...I am not alone.
Thank you, my friend. You made my day so much brighter.
Linda, how true your words are...it is only by this experience that I am now able to see into the past and understand how the widows I knew then were feeling. One aunt of my husband's comes to mind. She and her husband were married 40 some odd years. He died after a heart operation. She had the most haunting look in her eyes I had ever seen. It struck me then how deeply she felt that loss...I could actually SEE it. And now we know it too...its unbelievable. It doesn't matter how long its been...what matters is how much that person meant to you. How much of yourself you invested in your relationship with Gary (and me with Rick) only to have it ripped away.
If only we could teach empathy...especially to adults who seem to misplace their hearts when they talk to us. I would rather they just ignore me than to say things like...Oh, you'll find someone...you're still young! (I won't even tell you how I respond to that one!) You'll get over it, in time (...unbelievable).
Oh well, Linda, what can we do but stick together...those of us who KNOW? This is the way the outside world works...and it makes me sorry I was ever a part of it...though I have NEVER told anyone who suffered a loss that they would 'get over it'.
But iron is forged in fire, isn't it? Adversity builds character, doesn't it?
Well, my goodness, we are going to be the strongest, crispiest characters the world ever saw! Ha! Ha!