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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."

I've passed the 3 year mark ... sounds like a long time. But it doesn't always feel like a long time. And yet, some days it feels like forever .... I miss him.

When someone asks how long it's been and they hear '3 years' I usually see the look. It's been that long? You should be "over it" by now.  And I resent that - but I don't show it. I've become really, really good at hiding my true feelings. It's just easier that way. For me. I don't necessarily recommend it for others.

The days leading up to September 22 were once again harder than the actual day. I took a couple of days off work so I could have the time to reflect, to feel what I needed to feel. And I wallowed in it. Felt it. Grieved it. All of it.  And then I decided I needed to finally do something I'd been putting off ... get his Mustang running again. So on Saturday, Sept. 21st, I spent several hours doing just that. AAA got it running again with a new battery; I took it down for an oil change and a car wash. Because the battery had died, it didn't pass the smog test so that meant I had to go to DMV to get a 10-day extension (since the license tags expired at the end of July while it sat in the driveway). And the A/C compressor died, too. Just couldn't be easy, could it?  But I did it all and it felt good.

September 22 was a lovely Sunday. Cooler temps, a light breeze, a perfect day for a drive with the top down. I headed out to Red Rock Canyon, a favorite spot for Vern & I over the years. Learned that I qualified for a $10 Lifetime Pass to the National Parks - a perk for hitting 62 this year. I drove along the 13 mile loop, stopping now and then to take photos. Had to pull off when the Diamond Rio song "One More Day" came on; it always makes me cry. And then The Calling's "I'll Go Wherever You Will Go" played. OK - thank you Mr. Radio DJ Guy. That's quite enough.  Decided to head down the road to Spring Mountain Ranch while I was in the area and it was beautiful. Found a little bench in the shade by the ranch house and just enjoyed the view and let my thoughts flow.

I've chosen to spend this special day alone the first two years. That felt like the right thing to do then. But this was the right thing for me to do this year. Nature and all its beauty can have quite a healing power. Am I "over it"?  Oh no ... don't expect that to ever happen. But time has allowed me to learn how to recognize and listen to that inner voice that knows exactly what I need to do to get through the tough days - and time has given me the strength to be selfish when I must ... to do what I must to live this life without my Vern. 

"But for those who love, time is eternity."

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Comment by katjames on October 2, 2013 at 9:47am

I loved reading this Diane, though my heart hurt for you and for all of us who miss someone so deeply... I love how you are moving along at your own pace and remembering with reverence and so very thoughtfully and lovingly.  It is a beautiful thing... I sold my husband's sports car a little over a year after he passed.  I could hear him saying, "Kathi if you're not driving it, get rid of it!"  He was practical like that, but it was still very hard and I cried all the way to Carmax....

Comment by shayne on September 29, 2013 at 3:01pm

Hi Diane:

Thanks for sharing your day; sounds like you did exactly what you needed t do for you and I am so proud of you.

I do agree with you regarding that look people get when they say how long has it been? I figure until you've walked in my shoes you who get to go home to your husband every night let me grieve in my own way. I don't expect anyone except another widow to understand how I feel; so I like you have learned to do what works for me.

Take care

Shayne

Comment by Dianne in Nevada on September 28, 2013 at 10:16am

I so 'get it', Leftbehind.  His car has sat out in the driveway for 3 years ... I'd feel strong and get it started and then it would be too hard to drive and it would sit and the battery would die yet again. I think this was the third new battery and not sure how many jumpstarts (thank God for AAA). Sounds ridiculous to many, I know - but I think you understand. Neighbors have wanted to buy it. Strangers have left notes on it. And still I let it sit. I knew it wasn't good for it to sit so long. I hated seeing it dirty. But I just could not move on it.

The 3 year anniversary of his death felt like the right time to get it running again, but it took me right up to the day before to finally do it. Thankfully, all those extra roadblocks thrown in my way that day (failed smog test, DMV, A/C) just made my resolve stronger to get it running. I'm so glad I did.  You'll know when the time is right for you. Don't put pressure on yourself with a deadline. When you're ready, you'll do it.

My heart skipped when you shared your son's reaction to the car pulling in your drive. So hard. ♥ 

Comment by Leftbehind on September 28, 2013 at 9:25am

You are an inspiration, and so proud of you for so many things you have done.  I had my loves 65 Chevy brought home from storage last week, I haven't been able to think about looking at it in the past year and a half.  For whatever reason, I sporadically decided that it was time.  The moment my brother pulled it in the drive and the rumble shook the house as it always did, my six year old son yelled Daddy's home, instantly my heart wrenched and crocodile tears started shooting out of my eyes followed by his when he realized what he had said.  Needless to say, I couldn't wash her, let alone drive her.  So I just placed her in the garage and covered her up...maybe next year </3.

Comment by Patience on September 28, 2013 at 9:24am

Hi Dianne! You are an inspiration and definitely on your own path.  I don't know yet what my path will be, but your writings tell me that I have choices and should listen to my inner voice. thank you for sharing. And a big thank you for steering me toward soaring spirits. :)  Lots of Love to you!!

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on September 28, 2013 at 8:30am

(((Dianne))).  I'm so glad you could enjoy the day and the memories.  My 2nd is coming up in a month and 2 days.  I was checking the calendar and saw it falls on a Friday this year.  So I am thinking that since that is my son's night to bowl and I will probably not want to sit home alone that I may just go up to the neighborhood bar where I am around people and can listen to music.  It was something we enjoyed doing.  What I am doing with the rest of the day I'm not sure but will figure in out in time.

Comment by only1sue on September 28, 2013 at 3:55am

Dianne, I just spent my first sadaversary with my daughter and her family.  That is my way of coping.  I think your way is good too. Being out in the natural environment can be a stress reliever and a sadness cure for me too. I often find a spot overlooking a nearby beach when I feel sad and do my meditation there.  Seems to lift my spirits.

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