I have been working on a long, depressing blog post for more than a month. This month marks a year since The Thing That Happened Last February. February 28th marks the last time I saw him alive, though he lived – hidden by his family from me – for another 23 days.

It’s been a rough two months.

I’ve written words about it these two months. Many of them, in fact. I’ve written words and cried tears and written more words. I’ve tried to write about other things, but those are the only words I’ve managed to write.

And while I’ve done that, while I’ve struggled to make sense of a world that felt like it stopped in February of last year, the world has proved me wrong, and gone on. February is just another month, as is March. Warren was just another person who died. Lots of people died that month. Good people, people who were loved, people who loved others. People who meant the world to someone else. People who laughed and cried and told stories and made others happy and sad and angry. People that were fathers and mothers and lovers and friends and children and grandparents. People that accomplished great things and people that accomplished nothing.

I am not alone in my grief.

It was somewhere in the midst of trying to write and publish something about it all for the umpteenth time that I truly felt that, deep inside. Felt it and accepted it, not as a platitude, but as a reality. Tragedy happens all the time, everywhere. Minor tragedies, major ones. Tragedies far worse than my own.

And the world keeps spinning. Daffodils poke their yellow faces up through the dirt, birds build nests and lay eggs, geese go south and then come back home. People die, and we are left to pick up the pieces and move on. The holes they leave behind heal over and close up, or are filled again with new life, new love, new adventures.

Or not. Sometimes we choose to pick at the scab, refusing to let ourselves heal, to never live or love fully again. The grief is not just part of us, but becomes us, swallowing us whole and rendering us inert; stagnant and sterile.

It’s hard to face his death, this anniversary of his death, as the world renews in spring. I remember spending days watching it snow from the hospital windows last February, then walking out that last time to see daffodils blooming.

The world had moved on.

At the time, I was still under the illusion that he would be coming home, and that every year the daffodils would have special meaning to me…renewal. Rebirth. I’ve always loved the spring.

V and I took a walk the other day and passed a clump of daffodils blooming. I instantly felt that leap of joy in my heart, followed closely by a plummeting despair. How can something that brings me such joy hurt so much?

Later, another night, he and I talked. We talked about W, and these two months, and the nature of life and death and love and grief. Some of the things V said to me hurt, not because he was intending to cause pain – I think he meant the exact opposite, actually, because for him what he believes is somehow a comfort, and I think he meant it to be to me as well. But in that moment I could not perceive it as comfort, and I cried as hard as I had in a long time.

I needed the release. These words, these thoughts, have been bound up inside of me so tight they have been an obstruction in my chest, and it was only with a hard shaking that they could be dislodged. It was only later that I realized his words had done something else as well. They had echoed so much of W’s own beliefs that it was as though he was saying them to me.

“Do not grieve for me; I am no more. I am gone. Live your life. Love again. Be joyful again. Do not live in the past; go forward into your future.”

I’m ready to let spring mean what it had always meant in the past to me: a new start. A fresh beginning. Growth. To do anything less – to hold onto this pain, to wrap myself in it and let it choke me – would be to negate the sacrifice Warren made, when he chose to be allowed to die rather than to burden me with his care.

I’m ready to live again – truly live. Be here, be present. I’m ready to grow again, and maybe, just maybe, blossom again.

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Take Two
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7 thoughts on “Take Two

  • March 22, 2016 at 7:06 pm
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    I can’t begin to image what this last year has been like for you. I want to hug you soooo tight. I am glad you have finally come to a place where you can really embrace a future. The past will always be a huge part of you but I think finding a new life to live is the best way to honour it.

    Mollyxxx

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  • March 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    This post tugged at my heart. Like Molly, there is no way for me to understand just how hard the past year has been for you. It’s good for you to allow the tears when they come, but also to see the beauty around you again. Step by step…

    Sending you lots of hugs, Jade.

    Rebel xox

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  • March 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm
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    Like you, my world changed about a year ago with the unexpected death of my wife of over 40 years of marriage. I know your pain. I also know that your Warren and my wife would not want us limiting our happiness by stopping our lives. Yes, life is different, but we move forward NOT leaving anything behind or with voids to be filled. We move forward with all the love they gave us in our hearts to build upon and add to with new and exciting experiences in our new lives. They are with us all the time, cheering us on to live our lives to the best and fullest we can. Spring is a time of renewal, a time to look forward to rebirth of the world around us. We, too, are destined to do new things, take bold actions, go for the gusto, do what our lovers would have done and wanted us to do — and that is BE HAPPY in what we do and desire. Be always looking forward to the next NEW experience that we can say, he or she would have really enjoyed this. Choose to live well and remember, he is always there to talk to, know he is listening to you, and remember to smile and let him know you are doing the best you can to be happy as he would have wanted you to be. My heart goes out to you.

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  • March 22, 2016 at 8:27 pm
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    I hardly know you but I am shedding tears reading this. I can’t imagine how you must feel but I am glad you’ve found a way you are able to move forwards again. Daffodils are my favourite flower and a very fitting tribute.

    (((Hugs)))

    Reply
  • March 22, 2016 at 10:43 pm
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    Yours was the first blog I started following and led me to Molly’s and Marie’s and others. As I read about your life, I felt like I was in a tiny fraction of a way, a part of it. I learned about your family and lifestyle and it all made a huge impact on me, in ways I never dreamed.

    When your blog ended and I only knew that something terrible had happened, I grieved for you, not knowing why.

    I’m glad you are able to come back and write about W’s death and your loss and grief. Again this will help others in ways you might not even know.

    I haven’t lost a partner, but I have lost a daughter and can relate to many of the feelings and emotions you are feeling right now.

    Hugs to you Jade. You are stronger than you’ll ever know.

    Blessings, Rose

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  • March 26, 2016 at 3:34 pm
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    what a moving post….you caused a lurker to pop his head out again.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 10:45 pm
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    Grief it’s a funny, painful and consuming thing. It comes in waves, ebbs and flows, very much like life itself.

    Go with the flow, allow the tears to come, the anger to vent.

    It does get easier, you learn to live with it and without the person, life continues, differently, but it continues.

    You are stronger that you realise and you will find yourself again and others will come. They will never replace, they will find their own place in your heart if you want them to.

    Be you Jade, be kind to yourself.

    Enjoy the spring as a new life is born and new beginnings unfold just like the petals of those daffodils.

    Much love and hugs

    Velvet x

    Reply

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