As we approach the one year mark of my husband’s death, I find myself experiencing bursts of new thoughts and feelings.
First, I decided with certainty that I no longer want to be addressed as Mrs. _____. I’ve even started writing Ms. ______ at work. Since my students are used to Mrs. I won’t change anything this year. When my husband first passed away I sort of clung to Mrs. To not cling to it felt like I was never married, and I was already struggling with that in my head. Now I have accepted the fact that yes, I am not married. I stopped wearing my ring maybe 5 months ago. I’m happy that everything has been done on my own timeline, and it feels good to see where I was then, and how I feel now, and recognize a significant change. It doesn’t mean I like it. It just means I’ve accepted my reality and moving forward.
Memorial activities have begun as we approach 1 year. I planned three things for this year.
*American Heart Association 5K: my husband died of an aortic aneurysm. His autopsy revealed cardiovascular disease that we had absolutely no idea about. Given his age, we think there were some genetic factors too. At any rate, we did it today and raised almost $3,000. There were over 80 participants! The really weird, freaky thing was afterward we went to a new ramen place. Our waitress was a former student of my husband’s. I swear. I can’t go anywhere without these kinds of things happening. I tell my kids that they can be proud that their father meant so much to so many people. Not everyone can say that.
I’m front-center with the kids.
*Scholarship. We are doing a memorial scholarship(s). Applications come in next week, and at the end of the month we’ll go through them and choose who to give money to, as well as how much. Then, in May, we’ll attend the awards ceremony to present the award(s).
*Day of death. We’re going to eat at our favorite curry place, visit the cemetery, and release butterflies like we did at my husband’s inurnment.
Most days I feel fine. Some days I feel sorry for myself. Or I feel a deep sense of missing him. Or I feel bad for my kiddos who miss him.
The other day at lunch (we worked together), I realized for the first time that I really, really missed him. I had been avoiding it all year by working through my lunch. But sitting there, staring off at nothing in particular, I felt it. That void.
I’ve gone through cycles of indecisiveness about my future. I mean, I don’t really expect to know what will happen, nor do I feel the need to know. It’s the changing opinions in my head that amuse me the most. At first I thought I’d never want to get married again. Then I thought I really would. To never. To yes.
There is a beauty in doing this a second time. There is no rush for anything. When I was in my mid-twenties I felt a rush to start having kids and so forth. Now, there is no rush. There is no settling. It’s a good feeling. Whatever happens, happens.
I read all your blogs Teresa and they are so insightful, from an outside point of view, it can be seen that you are passing through the 7 stages of grief (disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance/hope), sometimes going back a step, then forward again. From your blogs it would appear that you are fluctuating between the anger / depression / hope phase. I hope that you find yourself more often in the acceptance/hope area.
Thanks, Karl. One can only hope haha.