Posted by Danny
This post is for those who have recently lost a loved one.
I was out with my buddy Brad on Monday night. I wish everyone had a friend like him.
We were talking about life; nothing is off-limits. We’re sworn to secrecy – sort of like Vegas.
We spent time reflecting on the hard days that have passed, and then he asked me –
“Can you remember yourself two years ago? The nights we sat on your porch? You couldn’t stop crying. You told me you didn’t think you could face life. You told me you didn’t know how to raise three girls on your own. You said you didn’t think you’d ever see happiness again. Do you remember that?”
Boy, do I. Painful, painful memories.
Recently my mom emailed: “I remember the week after Lisa died. You came to our house for the weekend. We were all so sad – trying to put on a good face for the girls. On Sunday morning, you couldn’t get out of the bed. You just lay there – lethargic. We tried to help but finally left you alone. Later that day, I came back upstairs. You sat up and said, ‘I told Lisa I would take care of the girls. I’m not doing that now. I’ve got to get up. I promised I would.’ And you’ve done it. You did what you promised.”
I spent well over a year obsessing about being alone. The thought of all of the kids being gone at once was too much to bear. I couldn’t wait for Jesse to get home at night – just longing for the presence of another adult in the house. The fear that I’d never get remarried was overwhelming.
But now, the fears are less. I’m finding that time alone is OK – and on occasion, even welcome. And if I grow old single, that may be alright too. I don’t feel the pressure that I did even six months ago – pressure to rectify my situation.
Last week there were times that I was tossed right back into the abyss of grief. It pops up unexpectedly, but passes much more quickly.
I still miss Lisa – I think of her countless times each day. Sometimes I talk to her. Often I look up as if I can see that infamous eye roll.
But I don’t expect to wake up and find her next to me. I know we’ll meet again, and that allows me to move toward the future.
So do two years away from her death automatically bring happiness?
Not automatically – it has taken much work. It has taken dancing and music and piano playing uncles. A Christmas Carol was helpful and weekends with friends. And an acceptance that at times, I’ll fall back down – and that that is OK. Picking yourself up after a small step backward gives momentum to leap forward.
I’ve decided that we’re going to be OK.