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It Is What It Is... Or It Is What I Make it

My husband, Jack, died 3 months ago.  It was not surprising yet I never expected him to die... and until the very end I don't think he believed he was dying either.  When he came to realize there was no bouncing back that last time he adopted the attitude of "It is what it is." 

You get to a point where the battle is over.  He did and when he got there he didn't complain, didn't bemoan his fate, he didn't even cry.  He laughed when he could, held me when I cried and in the end he stopped on his way out to tell me that everything was ok now.  And for him it was.  Not so much for me.

Like everyone else who has written the pain of being here when the love of our life is gone is gut wrenching.  I was so relieved when his suffering ended but was clueless that mine was about to start.  I have no children and my family isn't close. So the loneliness is palatable and the void is more of a bottomless crevasse.   

We were married for 36 years and at 60 I may be living that much longer.  The courage and grace Jack showed as he was dying taught me what I needed to continuing living. That doesn't mean it's easy, far from it.  When the grief washes over me I let it.  I can't avoid the pain of losing him so I give into it knowing it will ease up at least for a little while.  I have every expectation that the waves of inconsolable grief will always be part of my life and they will come out of the blue yet be perfectly understandably when they do.  It is what it is. 

What happens now or next is however what I make it.  When that shift in perspective hit me I came to realize that there will come a time when I will make choices that will make me feel better.  I do the best that I can right now... for me.  I couldn't save Jack but I can help myself.   It's just going to take me awhile to build up the strength to do what will lead me back to a place that is a little bit happier, a little bit more peaceful... and a little bit less painful than where I am now.  And that's as good as it needs to be at this moment. 

Wishing everyone here a little more too. 

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Comment by bis4betsy on May 30, 2015 at 9:38pm

Reading your post sounds just like my story.  My husband didn't complain much, accepted what was with such dignity.  A very kind friend who had been recently widowed a year before me said at first the grief was like being knocked over by a huge wave at the beach.  Gradually, he was able to figure out how to brace himself for the waves and he didn't feel like he got knocked over as much.  However,  he said every so often a big wave came out of nowhere and knocked him over.  Be kind to yourself, take good care of yourself,  and most of all remember how much love you shared together in those 36 years. 

Comment by Deb M on May 27, 2015 at 4:05am

My mantra is "it is what it is" . Somehow it calms my restless thoughts and centers me. I then can do what needs to be done and go on. I try not to think too far in the future, but stay in the moment. Thank you for sharing.


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