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Reflections on the First Year on the Anniversary of My Husband’s Death

Today I came across a quote by Marcus Aurelius, “Tomorrow is nothing, today is too late; the good lived yesterday.”  What can he have meant by it?  I can only assume that he lost someone too, as that is how I felt nearly every day for an entire year.  The pain I felt on my husband's death was so intense that I thought the physical stress of it would carry me off as well.  Everything around me looked flat, as if the world itself was changed without his observation of it.  I didn’t sleep, and I didn’t sleep, and I didn’t sleep.  I was scared of the future.  I cried at all times, in front of everybody.  At around the fourth or fifth month I decided that I would live again. I had grown to hate crying in front of everybody, and just like that, I stopped.  At month six I determined that my life would still have meaning, and that I would love again.  I was exhausted by my grief and I wanted it to be over, but I would come to find, you can’t decide that your grief is going to end.  At month eight, I couldn’t believe eight months had passed.  It felt like two.  I had been so underwater in my pain that I hadn’t begun to experience time passing in a normal way for the first six months.  At month nine, I miscounted; I thought ten months had passed.  How could I have done that?  It may be that math is not my strong point, or it could be that time was still not progressing normally for me.  At eleven months, I crashed and burned, I started having to fight off the desire to check out of the long days with a drink, or a little medicinal marijuana.  The short days of December were too long, too hard, and I couldn’t fight the pain.  I thought I might become one of the people who really don’t make it through, but I did.  And in some way, I think that my fall was a necessary part of my healing.  I’d fought off the grief too hard and for too long, and it had its way with me in the end.  I think there was a lot of wisdom in the past when people were expected to actively mourn for a year.  At one year, I do cry again.  My tears have returned, but they are gentle, I don't mind them and I don't try to stop them.  I still love my husband, I still feel married, and I still don’t know what my future is going to look like.  But I have gotten used to living without the magic in my life.  I can say, at one year, that I am a different person than I was a year ago.  I’m still the emotional person I’ve always been, but I’m stronger now than I thought I could ever be.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet, but I’m going to do something with it.  I’d like to close this blog by saying that after reading all of your posts for a year, the one thing that struck me again and again was how much we love each other, how strong love is, how much another person can become a part of us.  It’s changed my perspective of the world I’ve been thrown back into.  We can each be the person who makes the magic happen for somebody else.  We are each so potentially important to another person.  That’s my perspective anyways, and I hope that those of you who are still underwater in your grief can find some hope in it that you will survive.

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