Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One Year Later

Today is the one-year anniversary of Ed's passing.  I'm not quite sure what I expected of today.  I took the day off from work.  Part of me contemplated taking yesterday off as well.  I had feared that Sunday evening into Monday, marking the day Ed passed might have been more difficult.  But I went to work and Monday was okay.  Last night I went out to dinner with an acquaintance--we haven't seen each other in a while--and it was fine.  I was afraid I'd be in a "mood," but I wasn't.  It was just a nice dinner out with good company.

This morning I went to 8 AM Mass.  Dan and I had it said for Ed.  I knew this was the perfect way to start this day and to honor and remember him.  Dan was working so he could not go with me.  I had contemplated asking someone to go with me but then thought better of it.  I'm a big girl and I need to do these types of things on my own.  And if someone shows up, great!  But otherwise, I'd be fine...and I was as I drove to the church.  When I arrived, my friend from choir, Brooke, was there.  She came for me, for Ed. She lost her husband last August, so she is one of those who "gets it."

Brooke and I then went to Kristina's for a light breakfast.  I had gone there with Anna on the anniversary of Bob's passing (again, after morning Mass) and I thought it would be nice to do that again today.  So we had a nice breakfast.  I then went to Stop & Shop to pickup some flowers for Ed's grave.  I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to get, but once I got there and saw what they had, I easily made up my mind.

Yes, I bought two bulb plants--daffodils and hyacinths.  I will keep them at the grave for a while and then I will find a place to plant them in our yard.  And I'm thinking this might be my tradition so that every spring as the bulbs come up and the flowers bloom, I will think of Ed and smile because he will be proud of the fact that I actually grew something and didn't kill it!

I spent about an hour at the cemetery.  I talked to Ed, I enjoyed the warm, spring air, and I sat and listened to Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" (which Dan and I had played at Ed's burial).  I said a couple prayers.  I cried.  I found I cried more than I did a year ago when we laid Ed to rest.  And then I told myself I needed to go be productive and not sit in the cemetery crying all day!

I spent the rest of the day working in the yard.  I find peace when I'm working in the yard.  It's hard, physical labor.  But it is what Ed always took care of and so now I take care of it and do the work to honor him.  To make him proud.

While working in the yard, my neighbor Charlene stopped and we chatted.  Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of her mother's passing.  She says it still hurts.  But still, 25 years later, she still takes the time to honor her mother and remember her on the anniversary of her death.  My feelings were mixed about this--that after 25 years, the day doesn't necessarily get any easier which is disappointing.  But at the same time, I'm comforted by the fact that I won't forget and that, after 25 years, I will still remember and Ed will still be as special 25 years from now as he is today.  I won't forget and that comforts me.

It was nice to talk to Charlene and as she pulled away and I went back to my raking, I smiled.  I have such nice neighbors.  During the day I received a couple texts and emails from a few special friends--those who have also lost loved ones.  And I was touched by the couple cards I received in the mail.  I appreciate that people remember and acknowledge this day.  More people who "get it."

Some people are afraid to say anything or bring it up, thinking it will remind me and upset me.  So instead they say nothing.  Lesson for today for these people:  Saying nothing is so much worse.  I remember every moment of every day what I have lost.  Not a moment passes when I don't think of Ed.  And every day I mourn my loss.  What has changed is that I have learned to function better and I may not cry as much when I talk about it (but there are moments when I might).  But don't think for one second that if you mention Ed's name or my loss, it is going to remind me and upset me.  I never forget.  That is what people who "get it" understand.  We never forget and that's a good thing because if we mourn and if we grieve our loss, it's because that person who has passed had an impact on our lives.  It meant something and they left a hole in our heart.  It means we miss them which in turn means they lived and loved.  What a wonderful thing.

As I write this post, the goldfinches have returned to the bird feeder.  And there are about 5 of them.  I jump up to get my camera and I sit and watch them.  And remember Ed with warmth in my heart.

I love you Ed and I will always remember and honor you on this day.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 19th...A Painful Day

I'm not sure why I am hyper focusing on each day and everything that happened one year ago on this day.  I guess that's just how grief works with some people.  I can't seem to turn it off and so I find myself reliving the moments, the feelings, the pain.

  • April 19th....my brother's birthday.  A birthday we will no longer celebrate together.
  • April 19th....my sister-in-law's wedding anniversary.  An anniversary she can only celebrate in her memory.
  • April 19th....2013....the day I signed the paperwork to officially put Ed on hospice.
  • April 19th....2014....Holy Saturday.  The sadness of Good Friday lingers and we anticipate the resurrection of Christ, a joyous celebration.  
  • April 19th....2014....A day to always remember and honor Michael.  A day to remember Mary and Billy's wedding day which marked the beginning of a marriage of unending love.  A day to remember a decision Ed and I made together, in union, a decision that put my love for him before anything else.
So maybe April 19th is a day about love...