Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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.

Life is getting "better".
I now smile and laugh readily.
My depressingly sad moments don't take an entire day (or week) to get through.
I am in a relationship.

And yet .... I still want Jim.
I still am brought to tears at the thought of his absence sometimes.
On New Year's Eve I was holding hands with a man who loves me.
But tears were pouring down my face because he wasn't Jim.

One moment I feel fine.  Good, in fact.
And the next, I'm grieving again for what will never be.
I still do not look very far into the future.
I do better to focus on one day at a time, as do most of you probably.
The future was ripped away so I'm not sure when I'll be able to peer into it again.

But I'm ready to be happy.
I'm ready to live fully.
I'm ready to blend my personalities.

Damnit!  He's been dead for THREE years.
It's time for me to look my grief straight in its face and let it know that it will not control me.
It won't cripple me.
It won't keep me from living.
It will not define me.
Jim wouldn't want that for me any more than I'd want that for him.

But I do acknowledge that it will always be a part of me.
My grief will be a beautiful part of me because it's about Jim and he was a beautiful part of me.
He made me feel beautiful.
And loved.
Very, very loved .... and secure in every way.

My grief has softened me .... into a more compassionate person.
But it's also hardened me .... and let me know that I can endure anything.
All in all, it's made me a better person (in most ways).

So I will wear my grief proudly.
As one who loved and was loved beyond all reason.
And I will live positively.
As one who is sure that the love in her heart will never die .... not until she breathes her last breath.

There are two cups that sit on my dresser.
One reads, "Death Sucks".
The other reads, "Life is Good" (I just bought it this past weekend).

Yes .... after three years I can finally say ....
that death DOES suck ..... but life IS good.


  1. Nice post. Thank you for showing others that it's possible to move on.

  2. Ok Janine, you just wrote about my life as well. It's been 3.5 yrs now...I just remarried in July and I feel exactly as you do. Thanks for that.

  3. You are very, very lucky that your spouse made you feel beautiful and very, very loved. I loved my husband so much, but we didn't have an easy time in our 40 yr marriage, and one of the hardest things for me that I realized after he died after some very intense journaling, is that I felt completely alone and empty after his death. And its very difficult to be in grief when you feel unloved and empty. Even though I know that he loved me, he didn't know how to be loving towards me, probably because of the way he was raised. But how very, very sad. And very painful to live with.

  4. Anonymous .... I am so very sorry that that's what you were left with. I know, and I always knew, how blessed I was in my marriage. I don't think I really knew how rare it was until after he died. My heart breaks for you and your pain. I hope that you can find comfort in how much you loved him ... and that he loved you the best that he could.

  5. Thank you for your post. I can identify with so much that I felt like I had written much of it myself. Though i can not identify with being in a new relationship nor that life is good. I get the split personality and at year & 1/2 out, I don't look forward to the future with out my husband. I was blessed with a man that made me feel beautiful and very loved also. I still feel like I don't want to go on and wish I could join him the quicker the better, but for whatever reason I am still here, existing day to day.

  6. "On New Year's Eve I was holding hands with a man who loves me.
    But tears were pouring down my face because he wasn't Jim."

    Oh, how I relate to that phrase....
    The man that I will be marrying will be giving me a hug or rubbing my feet, and the whole time, well, you know where my thoughts are...

    All I can say is, the men that now love us, are special men indeed.

  7. I was just thinking some of the same thoughts as you. the other day I thinking about what I want and then out of the blue came the thought I want to feel safe again like I did with my late husband! Then today in a very ordinary moment as I was sitting down to dinner as and where I have say for the last year and a half after he died, Ilooked over to the chair next to mine and after months of never thinking this- thought it is where he sat and should be sitting so I can put my head on his shoulder like I use to. And I couldn't help but cry for a few minutes- so I pulled that chair closer to me. And yet the ironic thing is, just a few hours earlier I was thinking, how my life with him now seems like it was a dream!

  8. Enid .... Thank you so much for reminding me of how special these men are. I need to keep that in mind.

  9. "My grief will be a beautiful part of me because it's about Jim and he was a beautiful part of me."
    I LOVE that you said this! What a wonderful way to look at it. I have thought about this all day.

    Again, your words echo my thoughts (yet expressed much better than I could ever write). Even 3 1/2 years later I am amzed at how I can be OK and minutes later be in a puddle of tears from grief.

    Thanks, as always, for your posts.

  10. You just wrote about me too. Bob loved me so much, our life together was just beautiful. He would tell me he thanked God that He allowed him to be in my life. I'm only almost 3 months out. Still have a 15 year old at home. Still numb.

  11. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've recently come across this site and am finding it extremely helpful knowing that others feel the same way I do.