Sunday, November 16, 2014

A New Phase in Life

It has been many months since I posted anything on this blog - twelve to be exact. 

I have the desire to write, but life has rushed at me like a level five hurricane.  Five months ago, I was working, taking classes, and taking care of my husband who was very ill.  During all this chaos, my beloved husband passed away.  In a single instant, life as I knew it changed forever.  For the following six weeks, I packed, sorted, and gave away a large portion of our belongings in preparation to move from Northern Nevada to Texas.  They say you shouldn't move or do anything important for a year after a spouse dies.  That wasn't an option for me and this was the second move within seven months. 

During those agonizing first six weeks, I was also dealing with a dog who was old, deaf, blind, going to the bathroom in the house, and occasionally, trying to bite me.  The vet had mentioned it might be time to consider putting him to sleep.  It was a hard decision.  He had protected our home and been a loyal companion for fourteen years, but in the end, I had no choice.  Numb after all I'd been through, it was another hard blow. 

In spite of all I'd given away or thrown out, one twenty-six foot U-Haul truck wouldn't hold everything so we had to rent another one.  My son drove one truck and pulled my car on an auto transport.  I followed behind him in the second truck, driving twenty-three hours across country. 

By the time we reached my other son's home in Texas, there were no words to describe how tired I felt.  I slept for weeks, only to wake exhausted and emotional each day.  It seemed there had not been time for grief in the mad dash to tie up all the loose ends and move, and it finally caught up with me.  This is the hardest and worst journey imaginable. 

It has been three months.  I believe the better the marriage, the harder the grief.  That means this won't be over any time soon.  So instead of writing a story, I journal to force the pain out onto the page, hoping that getting it out on paper will relieve some of the anguish in my heart.  No man that wonderful should ever be forgotten.  As I packed up our home in Nevada and found photos of my husband, I gathered them together and put them into a small photo album.  I look into his eyes and kiss his face daily.  When someone has been such a good part of your life, it is hard to let go.  I know at some point I will have to in order to move forward, but for now, it is too fresh.  I am no expert on grieving, but recently took a week long course.  The most useful statement to me was that there is no rush.  Every person grieves differently and each relationship is different.  It takes as long as it takes.

Will  these events enrich my writing?  I hope so.  We are all products of the experiences we have in life, whether good or bad.   

In a little more than a month, I witnessed the last breath of the love of my life and a family pet.  I can honestly say now that I am not afraid to die.  Like most people, death used to scare me, but facing it up close and personal and having a strong faith, has left me with an anticipation of seeing my husband again rather than fearing the unknown. 

The moral of this post is this:  Life is short.  Cherish your loved ones and don't take them for granted.  Live each day to the fullest and let the important people in your life know you love them.  Don't worry about having a perfectly clean house or keeping up with the Jones's:  spend time with family instead.  Build great memories.  Take lots of pictures.  Remember what's real and what's really important in life.  You'll never regret it.