It has been a long time since I have posted. I knew I had things to say, but wasn’t quite ready to say them.
I broke the biggest rule of grieving several times over this year – “no big decisions.” I decided to leave my work position at the end of the school year cycle, rent out my house, travel all summer (you can read about that at Morah the Explorer), and start graduate school in the fall. 99% of the time this all feels good and right. But it did take up just about all of my extra time, between studying for the GREs, applying to school, interviewing, taking prerequisites and planning for the rest of my life.
Oh, yes. And grieving.
A friend of mine said that “Grief is like standing with your back to the ocean. Sometimes you can feel the mist on your neck, sometimes you can feel the water on your toes, sometimes it will knock you over. You don’t know what it will do and when, but you can always hear it.” She is so right.
Most days I look just fine. I can talk about Dear Husband, and even joke about him a bit. I can stop myself from talking about him all of the time. I can even stop myself from thinking about him all of the time. I go about my days, rediscovering what it is like to be single. To buy milk by the pint rather than the gallon, to have no one to blame but myself when I misplace my keys. To come home to my cat and tell her about my day. I spent a lot of time on the phone with friends. I spent a lot of time out at night.
Dating has been weird. When “it all happened” (which is how I refer to the days around when my husband died), the single men started coming out of the woodwork. Literally weeks (okay, days) after he died I was getting the odd combination of condolence call/date request. In the first month, I went from horrified to disgusted to put out, then annoyed, then bemused. It was nice to feel wanted after so many months of feeling like a caregiving function unit rather than a person, let alone a woman, but it was also creepy. Eventually, I met someone who is kind and understanding, and saw me as more than an opportunity for mating with a woman of child bearing years. He sees my past as a part of who I am, and respects my grieving and my needs, but also sees me as more than the sum of my experiences. He’d like the relationship to be more, and is patient when I tell him that it is weird to consider having a boyfriend when one considers oneself as married to someone else. I am beginning to imagine what the rest of my life could look like.
Today is the one year anniversary of Dear Husband’s passing. I spent the day in Madrid for a few hours with friends who never met him, in fact, they met me after he had already passed from pain. I found myself thinking of him and smiling over discoveries he would have loved, rather than feeling the sharp pain of loss which I feared. The memory of Dear Husband is an enriching lens through which to see the world.