Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Should Have Been ....

.... but was not.

Monday, that is.

It should have been our 29th anniversary .... but it was not.
Not technically, anyway.

Ironically enough, it fell on a holiday .... Memorial Day.
No, he wasn't a vet, but I dare say that we remember a lot of people on Memorial Day.
Especially those of us on this site.

Two of my children remembered ..... and told me they were thinking of me.

Someone asked if I liked to be reminded that it was known .... or if it was best to say nothing.

Never say nothing.
It's always nice to know that someone remembers.
That someone is thinking of you and of .... "what should have been".


This was my 5th anniversary without him.
That number cannot be right.
That number surprises me.
And brings tears to my eyes.

It doesn't seem possible.
I re-count, just to make sure (I never did like math).
Yep, 2008 to 2012 = 5 years.
Well, 4 1/2 if we are precise.
But five May 28ths.

I never pictured myself living without him for one second .... let alone almost 5 years.
It seems, in so many ways, that it was just yesterday.
At other times, it feels like it's been a century.
I have lived many lifetimes in these 4 plus years.

I am stunned that this is our 5th year without him.
And yet .... I am thankful, too.
Not that he's gone ..... but that I am past the horrible cold, dark days of my grief.

I never pictured myself surviving one day without him .... let alone almost 5 years.

But here I am.
Writing about how I felt on ..... well, on "what should have been".
And just writing.
Not writing and crying.
(For a couple of years it seemed as if I would always cry as I wrote.)

We all have these moments.
We all have these days.
We all probably have a list ..... of "what should have been".

After almost 5 years I can tell you that the pain has lessened.
And I don't have many of these days.
In fact, I've misplaced my list.
Or maybe I just tucked it away one day.... when I found it was too difficult to write that list as I moved forward.

But just in case someone should ask ..... I like to know that others are thinking .....
of what should have been.


  1. What a beautiful post and a beautiful photo.

    "Never say nothing. It's always nice to know that someone remembers. That someone is thinking of you and of .... "what should have been"."
    How very true. When people choose to say nothing it just isolates us even more and intensifies the loneliness.

    Deb x

  2. "We all have these moments.
    We all have these days.
    We all probably have a list ..... of "what should have been"."

    Oh Yes. Yes indeed.

    Big Hugs. XA

  3. He should be getting ready to go on our first family vacation since 2002. Our three adult children and their partners are going and our two baby granddaughters. We rented a big house on the coast of Maine in Sept 2011, the month before he died. We had so much fun planning and talking about the family time together and the things we would do. He should be with me, but he won't. I'm nervous to go and nervous to not go.

    1. Don't be nervous, just go, yes you will miss him, but you are still here, go and make more memories with your children and granddaughters. Think what would he want you to do? You know the answer.

  4. Dear Jan (above) _ Go! I did the same thing with a family vacation. I cried everyday, but i went. The kids later said "going was an act of bravery" now I see that. All of the dreams are still there. I live for both of us.

    Dear Janine = This anniversary will always be in your mind and thank you for sharing the picture and memories with us.

  5. It is true that people remembering feels like such a gift. Thanks for a lovely post, and encouraging forme, who is six months out.

  6. Janine,
    Lovely photo. Sweet memories.

    It's good to hear that the pain and dark days and crying do lessen, I never imagined what this after life could be. I do my math, too, and can't believe this is the 3rd summer w/o him, how can that be? We should be prepping for cottage rentals, getting the sailboat ready to launch, instead I am doing it alone, wondering why I bother. Why do it all so others can enjoy the lake, when all I want is to be here alone? All the "What should have beens" keep staring at me, pulling me down, when I try so hard to move on. There seems to be no point in trying.

    I do draw strength from all of you, thank you. Glimmers of hope keep me going. Maybe someday I can misplace my what should have been list, too, and truly be living again.

  7. Dearest Janine, you never fail in hitting home with me. So very true, how blessed I feel when someone remembers any of the important dates. Sadly, I just came through the second year with little acknowledge of "what should have been". And as anon above stated, it does intensify the pain. But fortunately, for those who walk behind me, I won't let those milestones pass without a call, text, email, card, etc.


  8. Your post hit so close to what I think home is. I'm new at this widow thing (11weeks tomorrow ). But I already dread our anniversary next December. I feel ripped off. We were together 28 years, married 23. We had an amazing marriage that I was always so proud of. It breaks my heart.
    Thank you for posting that you made it through 5.
    Such helpful experiences here - it gives me hope in these dark days.

  9. Your post is helpful, thank you .... I plan to be on a train from London to Paris on the 5th Wedding anniversary without my husband and friend of 25 years. Making plans and participating in life has been a huge help to me.

  10. Tuesday was Jose and mine 2 year wedding anniversary. He will be gone 1 year (God how can it be that long when it still hurts so much) june 7th. Memorial day our wedding anniversary and the bad anniversary all in a week and a half time span. feels im losing my mind. part of me is empty and will never be filled again.

  11. Yes, I know exactly what you mean... May 26th would have been our 27th anniversary, add in the 5 years that we lived together before getting married that would have been 32 years. I can't believe that this is the 4th year that I am alone with him celebrating our anniversary. I know exactly what you feels sooo long without him and at other times I can't believe that it's only been 3.5 years.