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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Wiser folk than me have said that the first year is a series of 'Firsts' and that you have to get through them to start reaching some kind of acceptance.

Its got me to thinking of the last 11 months and the 'firsts' I have experienced and those still to come.

The first 'first' came seconds after he left me, the first time I took a breath without him by my side.

The next was telling the family, all waiting in the relatives room - first time I had to say the words 'he's gone' out loud.

Then going home, to an empty house that somehow felt emptier than it ever did when he was just away or out.

Climbing into a cold empty bed, on my own.

I could go on for ever but you know where I have been.

Of course there are the big ones, birthdays, anniversary, holidays etc., for these I tried to kid myself that I had the grief covered. that I knew how it would be and that I would be 'fine'.

I was wrong.

You can't fool your heart, it waits for the moment you think have everything under control then releases another thunderbolt of pain that floors you again.

I have just the one more of the 'big ones' to go, the anniversary, so does that mean that on 28th March - 1 year 1 day I will be miraculously at peace with this process?

I think not, the first year is just the biggest of the firsts.

You get the drift, life is one long 'first'  now, everything I do and everything that life offers me will be another new 'first'.

Every decision I make, new friend, new experience - all are going to be 'Firsts', I hope that there will come a time when I approach them with a lighter heart and a smile, secure in the knowledge that at some point there will be another 'first' as we are reunited again.

I hope that wherever he is he is watching me with pride, knowing that I am doing my best, that I love him and miss him but understand that our lives were meant to diverge at this point - everything I do from her on in is for us both.

Miss you hunny

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Comment by only1sue on February 16, 2015 at 1:01am

lj, I agree, when the grief of loss takes on the grief of having to go on alone.  At my age (67) I try not to look too far into the future. I also try not to think of what might have been. It can be a barren landscape sometimes. I too pray all of this will come to make sense as we move ahead. The future can look bleak but as we move towards it I  hope new possibilities  open up for us.

TG go on as bravely as you can.  It is harder to be on your own but if this is meant to be your life it should get easier as you leave the past behind you, we all have to achieve that somehow and come to some sort of acceptance of life as it is.

Comment by laurajay on February 15, 2015 at 11:20am

The year of" firsts" did not end at year two  for me and facing the third year the end of next month will still not end the" firsts" for me.  While others hold claim to it getting easier/ softer  I do not find that to be true  perhaps because the grief now blends with the piece meal losses that accompany getting old.  We would have been together to help one another as strength and ability lessened.  Secondary losses rear their ugly heads and so much more happens after a death  loss than I ever imagined because the losses continue.  Those with this loss of spouse who are young have the tragedy of early loss but hopefully they have time to work through the loss and find a new kind of happiness and strength to  accept it and live it.  I certainly would encourage every widow/widower to move forward with hope...just know  that aging adds new and continuing losses-albeit secondary losses as the experts call it- and there is no going back so step ahead,  look ahead . keeping memory sacred  but adding new experiences as you go along.   Thanks Trudi for your post.  I pray your journey is one that has the time  to bring ease as you go forward.  My comment is merely my experience with" firsts" ...everyone has a different experience  a different timetable.  None of them is blissful and every one is a true life challenge.   lj

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