Sunday, January 22, 2012
My Farewell Wish for You.
This has been a significant week. On Wednesday my kids and I had a celebration of life, honoring my husband Michael's birthday. It was an uplifting occasion, really. In the past this was the most difficult of days. Well, also was our wedding anniversary and the anniversary of his death. Oh, and the anniversary of the day we met. Perhaps I should also list the various holidays that meant so much for us. You get the point.
Each day after entering the world of widowhood is difficult. There is no way around it. From the day our spouses die, and those days forward, our lives will no longer be the same. The joyful days that we used to celebrate will now take up space with realities of our loss. I have come to accept this, and find that I am becoming quite comfortable with this more and more. On the other hand, what I also find is that it is becoming easier and easier to deal with this. Experience and time speaks volumes.
I suppose there are those that might feel that the pain of my loss is less now that I am in a new relationship. I don't know if that is my truth. My loss is my loss, and it will never go away. I can say that having someone close who is willing to support me through these challenging times is of significant help. And although my relationship is still somewhat new, I know that I deeply love this person, and I know that I will spend each day striving to strike that right balance between what I had and what I have.
I recognize that where I am at, or what I speak of, may not sit well with many readers. Many of you are still in the early stages of your grief, and the thought of new love is hard to consider. I can say that I truly didn't expect to find myself here, and I didn't expect to find my heart expanding to make room for a new love this soon. Yet here I am, and I recognize that it is time to begin focusing on the person standing here in front of me. I know that this will take a lot of effort on my part. I don't know exactly how Abel feels, yet I imagine that it has been challenging to open his heart to a man who still holds onto another. I can remember a few weeks ago when we were lying in bed and he said softly to me "remember that I am the one who is here."
Hearing Abel's words made me realize that I was perhaps taking for granted how strong he was, and how willing he was to hold me when I was missing Michael. Those quiet words also told me that he is a vulnerable person, who fears having his heart broken. This reminds me of another past conversation when Abel acknowledged that we would not be together if Michael had not died, and that clearly Michael was the love of my life. I didn't hesitate one moment to be honest and clear with Abel, that Michael was not the love of my life, as I don't believe that there is just one love of my life. I believe that people come into our lives, by chance, or by purpose, and if our hearts are open, love can enter.
I have too much love to give, and I know that I want to live the rest of my life with love. I feel so fortunate right now, and yet it is not necessarily because I have romantic love. I have the love of my children. I have the love of my extended family and friends, and I will soon have the opportunity to love a grandchild. So yes, I am quite fortunate.
So here is my wish for you. Love, and be loved. I know that your heart has been broken, mine was too. Yet keep in mind that a benefit of a broken heart is that there are many cracks on the surface which can make the flow of love happen easily. Love others openly, and let them love you. Know that I love all of you, and will miss this opportunity to share my words and journey with you. You have each touched my heart in so many ways. Many of you are friends that I have met along the way. Many of you I know through your loving comments. Know that I will be reading, and will remain a part of this community, just in a quieter way.
With my departure it is now my pleasure to share with you the voice that will take up residence here on Sundays, Matthew Croke. Many of you may recognize Matthew, as he has been a guest contributor here on Widow's Voice. What you may not know is a bit of his story. Matthew lives in the NW suburbs of Chicago, and is raising three girls all under the age of 11. Matthew lost his wife Lisa three years ago in the same year they lost his wife's mother who they were also living with. In his own words Matthew speaks of his journey as "trying to find my new place in this world while helping the girls find theirs." What a lovely perspective. I'm already looking forward to reading his words each week.