A Message to My Husband on Our Anniversary

My Dearest Walt,

There are no words to take away the emptiness I have inside. When you died, I was angry (madder than a wet hen) over my loss. I was furious. Then the grieving began and I let it take hold of me: I’ve grieved – an experience; a feeling unlike anything I”d ever experienced before. I”d wake up in the night and hear your footsteps and I”d call out your name. I even searched the house – top to bottom, looking for you, only to collapse on the bed in a cold sweat, exasperated. I”d weep, uncontrollably, at the snap of a finger. I felt as if I had gone crazy and would become Looney-tunes at any moment.
People around me were kind, they said they understood and it would get easier as time went on. They gave me a lot of leeway at work. It was strongly suggested that I get some counseling with a specialist. So many ”good-intention fixes” from dear friends and family – for an unfixable situation. I wanted your ”love” back in my life. And, damn-it, you weren’t coming home!

About the 2nd month, I learned something: Grieving is normal – in an abnormal world. And, the ”key” (if there is a key) to understanding and going through it, is forgiveness. I had to learn to forgive – you, who had left me, and most importantly, I had to learn to forgive me. That part proved to be the hardest for me, as I felt ”responsible” (why didn’t I know you had that hidden disease, why couldn’t I save you). So, everyday for what seemed an eternity, I’d start everyday telling myself, “I forgive you”. Then, I”d tell myself (and don”t you laugh!) that I loved me and that it was okay to hurt, however hurting wasn’t something I wanted in my life anymore. It wasn’t easy, but I kept at it. I prayed to God that He would keep me focused and to give me “a hope and a future”.

The uncontrollable weeping eased at about 6 months. But not the pain. And, that”s when I learned that the ”pain” was to be a ”scar” that I would have for all my life. It was up to me to accept it or let it consume me. I choose acceptance and in doing so, embraced it as part of me, thus lessening the ugliness I felt inside of me.

And, then one day-at-a-time, I continued getting stronger and stronger. My prayer, I learned, was answered when I accepted the pain, as I could ”see” a hope and a future ahead of me. The days turned into weeks, months and then a year. And, still I go on. Oh, sometimes I stop and listen, but your foot steps are getting more garbled amongst the background noise. One day they will stop. I will go on and not look back on what could have been.

I miss you, the love of my life, as much as I missed you the day left me. The memories of our life together are as sweet as sugar in my mouth, and that makes each of those memories just that more special.

Today I treasure the very special love that came into my life so many years ago. And, I am thankful that I was the one chosen to receive your love and the gift of being your wife.

Happy Anniversary Walt, I love you so much and forever and ever.

Me

© 2003