How Do You Prepare Someone ....for the loss of their spouse?
The answer is easy.
Oh, you can tell them to get their finances in order, to say "I love you" a million times, to make sure their name is on everything from the mortgage to the utility bills, but how can you prepare their heart?
..... I have been changed.
This is one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite musicals.
Yesterday, for the first time in over three years ..... I could hear it, and sing with it, without crying.
Not just tears-trickling-crying, but great, huge, gut-wrenching sobs-crying.
Am I turning my husband.....
.... into a saint?
After really sitting down to think about it and to honestly delve into the recesses of my mind (which was an exhausting trip, by the way) .... I think I can honestly say ...... no.
Just call me......... Sybil.
I very often feel like I have a split personality.
I have passed the three year mark. I find these words difficult to absorb even as I type them. Hell, I never expected to live out the first year. And then I knew I wouldn't survive the second. I often thought that it was a shame that I couldn't just "think myself" to death. In fact, there were many days when I was surprised to find that I couldn't.
But here I am .... three years out.
With a split personality .... sometimes.
A wave hit me yesterday.
And I never saw it coming .... although I should have.
Actually, the entire sentence was .... "All of your children are home. You should be happy."
I felt like I had been slapped in the face.
I was on the phone, explaining to this person, through tears, that I was feeling sad.
And that sentence was the response I got.
.... is sometimes a lot more powerful than I'd like it to be.
Maybe it's bigger than the rest of my mind.
Or maybe it's just a lot more determined to be in charge.
All I know is that it's very aware of the date on the calendar and it seems hell-bent on forcing my emotions to react to that memory .... even when the rest of my mind is going along quite contentedly.
Or so I thought.
We all know that we are changed after the death of our spouse.
We are changed because of the death of our spouse and everything that follows in its wake.
But how am I different now?
How is the "After Janine" different from the "Before Janine"?
Let me count the ways .....
If someone had been able to tell me 27 years ago (and I had believed them) that I would experience Hell on Earth, walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, be a single mother of six kids, and ..... know the pain of being a widow at a young age ...... would I have still married Jim?
Honestly? Probably not. I mean, wouldn't hearing that scare the crap out of anyone, especially a 23 year old girl/woman?! (To be perfectly frank .... the part about the six kids would have had me moving out of the country!)
.... is the word I use to describe the upcoming Holidays now.
Not as sucky as they've been (I hope), nor as sweet as they used to be.
Jim died exactly one week before Christmas.
Three weeks before his birthday.