Posted Oct 28, 2009 ~ (6 Months into widowhood)
Mid October brought its’ fair share of stress and new issues to confront. In my last post, I shared that I was dealing with two significant days on my calendar: what would have been our twelfth wedding anniversary and October 21st marked six months since Buck’s home going. Just prior to these important days was a deadline to get my income taxes prepared, as I had been given a six-month extension. Thanks to my dear friend Wendy, I did not have the stress of finding my way in unfamiliar territory, and having to parallel park on a busy York main street. I haven’t parallel parked in over 15 years! Getting everything together for the CPA was not new to me, as I was the record keeper in our family. The challenge was putting my hands on the necessary documentation, as things are not exactly organized around here, having just moved into our new home just three months before Buck’s heart attack on New Year’s Eve. I was thankful to have that responsibility behind me.
Our wedding anniversary was a “pajama day”. October 18th was a Sunday, but I decided not to go to church. I spent the weekend with my daughter, Sarah, and her family. Being with them on days that I anticipate might be extra hard emotionally is always helpful to me. They provide love, comfort, support and distraction, which get me through the difficult days. Early in my day, I watched the video of Buck’s memorial, which Dave W. so kindly put together for my family. It is a gift we will always treasure! It was the first time I had seen it and it was wonderful to hear the glowing words from family, friends and caretakers testifying to what Buck meant to them and how he impacted each of their lives. Each speaker gave our family a very precious gift!
In the evening, Sarah and I watched our wedding video, which I had not seen for nearly twelve years. Watching the memories unfold had an emotional impact of course, but I got through it a lot better than I thought I would. Reliving the most joyful day of our lives was difficult to watch and even more painful was hearing my precious husband’s voice. Tears rinse my face again as Buck’s voice echoes in my heart!
Sarah and I wrapped up our day with watching the slideshow that she and her husband Bob had created for Papa Bear’s memorial. It is getting easier to view it without falling apart. One evening about a month ago, I was home alone and decided I would be brave and watch it again, after not seeing it since the memorial in the end of June. I was totally unprepared for my reaction as I watched the representation of Buck’s life, backed up with the powerful music Sarah and I had chosen. I experienced weeping like never before; at least twice as intense as the worst of my “ugly cries”. I had never had a weeping session of that duration. It opened a floodgate that consumed me for 45 minutes. I found myself in a fetal position on my bed, as the power of the pictures and the music overwhelmed me with a depth of emotion I didn’t know was within me. All of it felt unfamiliar and the volume of my cries surprised me. The intensity of emotional pain doubled me over and brought me to my knees. At one point, I was kneeling by my bed and was too weak to stand and crawl into bed. My breathing was rapid and my body automatically went into the same breathing techniques I learned in my natural childbirth classes before Sarah was born. I guess I was naïve to think that I had gotten through the worst of this journey. I suppose that was wishful thinking.
When my emotional experience was behind me, I was left feeling weak and exhausted. It was well past the dinner hour and I was hungry, but too tired to do anything about it. When my normal breathing returned and I was able to climb into my bed, I made myself feel better by beginning to read “Heaven Better By Far”, by J. Oswald Sanders. It comforted me to learn about and anticipate the reality that Buck is enjoying. It is also reassuring to me to realize that everything I am experiencing is normal, necessary and important in my journey of grieving.
So the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs continues. The mourning comes in unpredictable waves. It’s all a natural part of the grieving process, and an indication of the deep love I had for my Bofren. The intense feelings are temporary and they pass. I survive and take another step closer in the healing of my broken heart. There is no heart so broken, that the Lord cannot mend it and make it stronger, as we trust Him with each new day. My faith and my personal relationship with Jesus, and my family and friends continue to sustain and support me as I move forward, finding joy in the precious gifts from God, that all of them are to me. Thank you for caring about me and continuing to check in on me by following my journal. I count you among my many blessings!