Wednesday, January 9, 2013

One Year Older ......


...... or not.

Monday was Jim's birthday.  He wasn't here, of course, but it was still his birthday.
I wonder if anyone else remembered?

I almost forgot ...... for a while.
I mean, I knew it was coming ..... I always know that it's coming.
But last week I was in the middle of moving to NYC (part time) and in all of the flurry I didn't think about it while I was there ...... until Saturday.  When a widow friend, our kids, and I were walking around the city, talking about big dates ...... like birthdays.  (And no, B, that was not a bad thing. :)
And then it surprised me to remember that his was just a couple of days away.

I imagine that most of you, being newer on this road than I am, cannot imagine this.  I also imagine that you won't like reading it.  I get that.  I understand that you cannot, for the life of you, think there will ever be a time when your every thought will not be of your loved one.
And that you never want to not think of him/her.
I really do get that.
And I remember feeling/thinking those exact same feelings/thoughts.
Just try to bear with me.

I also wonder if some widows/widowers would feel guilty for "forgetting" for a while?  Maybe earlier on this road I would've.
But not today.  Not now.  I refuse to let those negative emotions even rear their head around me.
And even if you can't imagine feeling this way,  I think that "forgetting" ...... for just a while ...... is a good thing.  I think that means that I really am moving forward and enjoying life more.
That in no way means that I'm leaving him behind, but it does mean that he, and his death, don't consume my every moment, my every breath, and my every thought ...... the way they used to.
Five, four or even three years ago I could not imagine this ...... but for that I am very, very grateful.

What's more ...... when I'm in NY I think about him, and his death, far less than I do when I'm here, at home.  It's like a completely different existence ...... where there are no closets, no books, or no garage that hold concrete reminders of him ...... and his absence.
That may sound horrible to a widow who's new on this road ...... because she doesn't want to stop thinking about her husband.  But after 5 years of more pain than good, I have to say that feeling good definitely outweighs feeling all of that pain.  Calm waters vs. the constant tsunamis that threatened to constantly drown me ...... are a welcomed experience.
Besides, it's not forgetting.
It's moving forward.

He's in my heart.
He's in my children.
He's in our memories.
He can never be forgotten.
Or left behind.

He can only be carried with us.

Happy Birthday, Honey.
I miss you more than one would think possible ...... and love you more than that.


  1. janine,
    There was a time when I didn't believe this. Where I couldnt imagine it. But I know it will happen. My mother died in 97 and I was so grief stricken, yet her birthday passed this week on the 5th and I just remembered this morning. I didn't beat myself up. I just remembered and that was enough.

    Of course it feels different with my husband. Oh, I loved him - still love him so incredibly and just beginning year 3 I still feel that I can't let go.
    Yet I know if i want to live without constant pain I have to a tiny little bit.
    I love this -
    He's in my heart.
    He's in my children.
    He's in our memories.
    He can never be forgotten.
    Or left behind.

    He can only be carried with us."

    That is the truth.
    Gee I wish you lived in Ontario, I feel like you are someone I want to know better.
    Your positivity and your strength (despite all) are such wonderful qualities to have.
    Enjoy New York. How exciting!

  2. Janine, what a wonderful, inspirational and heart felt hope filled message from you!!!

    I do believe you and even though I am struggling here at 2.5 years, I can see that with the passing of each day, I think about my husband just a little less than the prior day.

    Thank you and best of luck in your part-time home in NYC!

  3. This post was what I needed. My husbands birthday was yesterday, Jan. 8. His first birthday in heaven. Yesterday my thought was, his first birthday way from us. It's been 8 months since he left this earth. After reading your post, which I'm thankful for, he is in my heart, our children, our memories, he can never be forgotten or left behind. Thank you for these words.

  4. Thank you for this posting- I lost my Husband a bit over 8 mos. ago...I just got back from visiting my Sister and family in Washington,DC then a quick 3 days to NYC.. (maybe we passed on the street?)
    Being gone 10 days felt like I gave my heart a little time off.. I did think of him of course but at the same time was very distracted - which is how you probably were.. I get that.. and I think it's "ok" and actually a good thing to give your mind/body rest.. for we know the tsunami of tears will come.. that's a fact and part of grieving for our Husbands.
    I do not judge, I learn from others and go with it.
    good luck in NYC!

  5. I lost my partner on April 9th - so this is an anniversary (January 9) - and also his b'day is coming up on February 19th. I am living the "year of firsts" and it is so hard. Ron passed very suddenly on April 9th (went into the hospital with flu like symptoms - turned out to be undiagnosed aneurisms - on Good Friday, in a coma by Sunday and disconnect from life support on Easter Monday). As we were not married yet (planned for 12-12-12; had been living together for 7 months and known each other 4 1/2 years) I am neither a widow nor a widower - I feel like a nobody. I follow postings on here as it is the closest to what I can relate to. I guess it does/will get easier and seeing how all of you cope in your own way gives me hope that my life will have a purpose again in the future. Thanks for sharing your encensored thoughts and feelings - it helps in knowing that I am not alone nor without company on this journey through the "tunnel of hell" as only those that have experienced it know what we are going thorugh. Maybe there is a light at the end...

    1. Anon,
      You are not a "nobody" and I'm sorry that you feel that way. Knowing other widowed people who were not legally married, I've listened to how they, and you, are treated. Or not treated. I'm sorry for that. He was/is your love. You belonged to each other in your eyes, as well as his (and your friends and families, I hope). You had already begun sharing your lives.
      I understand that society seems to think you feel less pain because you didn't have a marriage license. What an absurd and barbaric concept.
      Please know that this is not only a place where you can feel a connection by what is written, but it's also a safe place, for all people who have lost their love. No piece of paper required.
      I'm so sorry that Ron died ... and that you have a reason to be here. But since it did happen, I'm glad that you found us. You are more than welcome here. You are accepted and cared for.
      Thanks for commenting and letting us meet you.

    2. Thank you Janine. Knowing that you and others care will help me through another difficult day...

  6. My husband b day was also Monday, thought of him cried a little, but then got up anf lived my day, But posted a song Vanilla Twilight by Owl city from You tube on my Facebook. This song to me describes the process you go through with grief, moment of remembering that will never be forgotten, but eventually it changes and you do not live so sad anymore when you do. Listen to it if you get a chance.

  7. This post came right on time for me! My husband's b-day was this past Saturday---and I forgot! After feeling horrible and beating myself for not being a "good wife", I finally calmed down and realized that I will be mourning for my beloved the rest of my life and maybe the angels wanted to give me a break from the grief journey I've been on for just one day. I know my husband would have forgiven me for forgetting. Now I have to work on forgiving myself!

  8. My beloved husband,Tom,passed away on June 21, 2012. All the major holidays,his birthday,my birthday, two of our sons' birthdays, New Years' were celebrated without him. Marked,observed,recognized would better describe the way one endures these milestones as a fresh widow. I bid goodbye to 2012, my year of shock and awe,to borrow a phrase from George Bush,the younger. This past December tested my faith,sanity,and optomism. My gratitude extends to all the wonderful widowed and berieved folk who contribute to this blog. Grief shared is grief halved.