This thing called grief.
I just got back from a fantastic trip to Germany. I was with a group of 46 other people and we toured around for nearly 2 weeks.
It was my first trip "alone".
I've gone on trips with the kids or with friends, but I went by myself on this one. I stayed by myself in all of the hotels.
Most of the other 46 people were couples. I knew some of them and am quite close with the couple leading the tour.
You know where I'm going with this, don't you?
It was basically my first trip without Jim.
After almost three years.
I've been planning this trip for over a year.
I thought that I'd be fine and that there would be no waves.
Why in the world was I stupid enough to think that?
Because it's what I wanted to happen, I guess.
But of course, I was wrong.
I did well until about the 3rd or 4th day.
And then I didn't do so well.
I missed him.
I missed having him take my picture in front of something cool.
I missed taking his picture.
I missed holding his hands like so many of the couples were doing.
I missed sharing all of those amazing sites with him.
I missed sitting beside him on the bus and on the plane.
I missed having him sleep next to me in all of those hotel rooms.
And so it goes.
I found it amazing how lonley you can feel in a crowd of 47 people.
Or .... on that particular day ..... in a crowd of thousands (as we toured castles, churches, etc.).
I hung out on the edge of our group, keeping my sunglasses on so that no one would notice the red eyes and the tears.
I was not the only single person on the trip.
In fact, I wasn't even the only widow.
But the other widow had her two daughters with her.
And so it goes.
It was a wonderful trip and I certainly wasn't miserable the whole time.
Just one bad day.
And only a few teary moments at other times.
Which, in the long run, is pretty good .... in my opinion.
About two days after my "bad day" I noticed something that made me catch my breath.
I realized on that day ..... that exact day ..... that I missed C (we've been dating for almost a year).
I missed C and I didn't think about Jim while I was missing him.
This realization actually smacked me .... that day.
It felt almost physical.
And ..... this is the really strange part ....
it felt good.
Because I realized that the fact that I could miss C without thinking about Jim at the same time ..... was a very positive step.
In my opinion.
And so it goes ......