Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wistful ......


...... is probably the best way to describe how I am feeling today, the day that marks the sixth year since Jim died.
It also happens to be the birthday of my sister, my brother and my step-dad.  Which totally sucked for them 6 years ago.  I hope it sucks less now.

I'm at a good point in my life, and yet ......
...... I miss him.
So very much.

I'm looking forward to Christmas, for the first time in six years, and yet ......
I'm also sad that two of my sons will be back in Texas, while the rest of us are up east.
I know that this eventually happens with most families with adult children.  And with six children, I can't really expect that we'll all spend every holiday together, no matter how much I'd like that.

I love living in New York and I truly feel that this is home now, and yet ......
the tears have flowed this week, and flow as I write this.
That's because I can never, EVER say, or write/type the words, "I miss him", without crying.
Even after 6 years.
God, how I miss him.

But I am in such a better place now, even with the tears.
Rather than feeling depressed and hopeless this week, I mostly feel wistful.
Which is so much better than how I've felt the past six years.
I looked up the definition of "wistful" and here's what Merriam-Webster's says:


 adjective \ˈwist-fəl\
: having or showing sad thoughts and feelings about something that you want to have or do and especially about something that made you happy in the past

Wow!  That pretty much sums it up.  I'm having sad thoughts and feelings about someone I want to have, and especially about someone who made me happy in the past.  Wistful, but not full blown grieving, because I've moved forward and know it isn't possible to have him back.  And I know that focusing on my grief at this point in my life will keep me from seeing the good in my life.
It will keep me from living in my "now", and enjoying the people and things I have now.

Hell, that doesn't mean I wouldn't trade everything to have him back.  That will always be a "given".  It just means that I now accept the fact that I'll never have the chance to do that.  But I do have a chance, every day, to focus, and enjoy my "now".  
That doesn't mean that there won't be more tears today, or in the future.
It doesn't mean that things are always great, or that they will always be great.
I'm not a fool.

I'm just a woman who's grieved very, very hard ...... and is relieved to just feel ......
wistful ...... on this day.
And during these holidays.

I wish that for each of you ...... in your own time.

I love you, Jim.  And always will.
No matter how many December 18ths come and go.


  1. Every day someplace there is an anniversary, yours is today, mine is Friday. 5 yrs difference in time. I have come a long way in one year, and you and others have made a difference. Living without our spouse is a challenge we face every day big or small. For me its amazing how fast the year has gone by, and for you as you look back also. We do keep moving forward as time doesn't stop and to enjoy life before us..
    May God's Grace be with you today..

  2. Oh Janine, your honesty is PRICELESS! Such a special blog from you today and one that elicited tears from me. As we all approach the holidays in different places in our lives and different expectations, the one feeling that I don't think any of us can deny is "MISS" more than words could possibly describe.

    My thanks, my thoughts, my prayers, my tears all for you today and anyone else who is experiencing an anniversary!

  3. Hi Janine, Wistful is a good place to be. It is six months today for me, and it just seems to be getting harder. The Christmas season is extremely tough. We loved this time of year, and Mel was my Christmas. I miss him so much, and this sadness, weighted feeling that is here every morning is awful. This blog is very helpful and it offers hope to all us greiving. Thank you so much. I look forward to my wistful day.

  4. Hi Janine,
    Today is my anniversary too - my husband passed two years ago. One week before Christmas with an 11 year old boy - very difficult. It helps to hear that you are starting to move on. I've been so bad this holiday season and started wondering if I will ever be happy again. My husband was the most amazing man ever and I was truly blessed to have him but now that he is gone I feel so lonely - even though I have an amazing family and great friends - it's not the same. It's also hard to watch my little boy grow up without his dad. Thank you for sharing this today and what is one of the hardest days.

  5. You give me hope, Janine, that someday I too will only feel wistful. Thank you for sharing your words with us week after week, it is good to see writers depart from this blog, but also good to have your consistent words each week. I know you too will move on someday, that is what we all strive for.

    You will always miss him, and always love him, just as I will miss my husband always. I am so sorry we are all here, and I am also thankful that we can share our thoughts here, and help those following us. Peace to you this season, especially today.

  6. Wistful is a good word Janine.
    At 3 1/2 years I am mostly wistful, although once in a while I still stumble across new or forgotten triggers that just sucker punch me in the heart.

    One such trigger came out of the blue last night while watching a short video somebody posted on facebook. If was of a family getting a surprise visit from their deployed son that they hadn't seen for two years. The looks of sheer joy & happiness on their faces to be reunited again, was suddenly too much for me. I was sobbing before I knew what had hit me.

    It’s like we’re walking a tightrope everyday just to get by, and we’re actually doing pretty well on it. We don’t even realize that we’re doing this amazing balancing act because we’ve gotten so freaking good at it. And then this random big finger comes appears out of the blue, and lightly ‘flicks’ us right off that tightrope.

    Dave's birthday is Dec 23rd, and between that, and Christmas, and listening to friends ongoing travel plans with their spouses, that video was my undoing.
    I ‘know’ that Dave’s gone and is never coming back, and I’m making a life for myself without him. But somehow, deep down, my soul just aches to be reunited with him.

  7. Valerie - I am with you the ache for the reunion. We are almost at the same 'widow" time frame. My husband died three years ago.
    Facing that first Christmas was incredibly painful and each Christmas brings something new to grieve. I am wistful and also . . . sometimes ok and that is just how it is.
    If i stop too long and think "he is never coming back" it is like a black hole.
    I have to tell myself "he lived. He loved me. I had him for a time and I am grateful for that."
    I wish I could believe in heaven but . . . too much loss.
    However, a part of me still hopes for a reunion someday.

    All I can add is we have to be gentle with ourselves. Tonight is the darkest night - the longest night of the year. . . I choose to surround myself with people who bring the light.

    That is how we get through.

  8. Janine,
    I'm in a better place too. This up is my third Christmas. I am of course still sad, but my heart is healing. The word wistful. Truly describes how I feel. Enjoy the sights, sound, and excitement of Christmas in New York.

    Maria O.