Thursday, October 29, 2009

In Loving Memory

October has been a really tough month for me. My last post was on the 3rd and I haven't been able to bring myself to write much since then. We were married on October 6th, 1972 and this is the first year I dreaded that date rolling around. October 23 also marked the 6 month anniversary of my husband's death. So no, I did not like October very much.

It was a hard month to cope with, yet I know it is the first of many milestones I will have to face as I continue on this journey of learning to be alone. I have spoken to several women in my position and they all say it is a series of ups and downs. You may think you are getting on fine and the next thing you know, something triggers the intense grief all over again.

After 6 months of "ups and downs...mostly downs" I can attest that this is true. Certain songs will trigger the emotions, certain shows that you have watched together and sometimes it will be just a memory that will pop into your head. They tell me it will all get easier to bare, but at times I sure don't feel like it will.

I did accomplish something to honor my husband that seemed to help me. We have built a beautiful memorial garden in my back yard. You see, my husband's wish was to be cremated and I carried those wishes out. So there is no cemetery to visit as he is eternally sealed in a beautiful mantel clock urn. The urn sits on his dresser in our bedroom, as per both of our wishes.

That is why I built the memorial we can have somewhere to visit, reflect and place memorial flowers. On the day of our anniversary I added a beautiful water fountain to the garden. water cascades down the top of a tall column and there is a flame burning on the top. It is called the Serenity fountain. I found that to be very fitting. He would have loved that fountain.

It will soon be to cold to sit outside and watch that water cascade from the ever glowing flame, but the garden is positioned right outside my office window, where I spend countless hours writing. It makes me feel better.

My rambling point here is to do whatever you need to do to make you feel a little peace and comfort. The garden was my way of feeling closer to him and somehow comforted. I tend the garden and keep it weed free. While I do that I talk to him. I believe he is listening.

We all will grieve in many different ways. My comfort is in keeping all of his things close to me. Some feel the need to remove the clothing and personal items of loved ones. Whatever feels right to you is the right thing to do. Just like I mentioned in my earlier post about the wedding rings. It is my intention to keep them on, you may feel different and that is okay.

I write this in loving memory of my husband who I desperately miss. October was hard, Honey, but I made it. I know you are watching and saying, "I knew you could." I love you...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

With This Ring...

You know the rest of the line. I have been thinking alot about those lines lately as I look at the wedding rings on my hand. The vows say "Until death do us part." I got news for who ever wrote those words...they ain't true.

This may come off like a rant, so bear with me. I still feel married! It is a horrifying thought to even contemplate taking off my wedding rings. Do other widows wonder about this? Are we supposed to take off the rings? The answer, I believe, is to do what ever feels right for you.

My wedding rings have been with me so long they are like a part of me. My husband's wedding band resides on my index finger just across from my own. he put it there "for safe keeping" just before he went in for a surgical procedure. It has been there ever since. Remove it? Not on your life!

For me, they are a comfort. Others may view them differently, so I say, "to each their own." If you want to leave your rings on for now, for a few months, or for the rest of your life, that is your decision and your's alone. No one can tell you what is "right or proper" on this situation, because it is different for everyone.

If and when the rings come off, it will be when I am ready, or if I ever am. If you have looked at your rings and wondered what is the right thing to do about them, leave them right where they are. If you have to ask,"Should they come off" then you aren't ready to answer that question just yet.

Things have to come in our own way, when we are ready. For me, I am not ready, nor do I think I will be for a very long time. For others, it may be different. The point is, it is each individual's decision to make. There is no politically correct length of time to leave your wedding rings on, and even if there was, who cares?

The word "Widow" is just a label. It is how each person feels inside that counts. My heart and soul still feels married, even though I must use the word widow now when I fill out paperwork. Those of you who now have to check that hateful little box know what I mean. Widow...I detest that word, I'd rather stick with "With this ring..."