It seems like forever since I've written. Interestingly enough I'm at the cottage. The place that last prompted an entry. Eight months have passed and truly I had nothing to say.
One thing I know is true. Each person's journey through grief is different. Don't late anyone fool you that there is a definite pattern. Places you will visit in your darkest moments. There is no map. There is no right way and no wrong way. This I know.
Tom's death was sudden, unexpected, in the wrong place(or so it seemed). I felt little, I couldn't figure it out. How could the end of a relationship that lasted for 26 years, feel like nothing? How could the love of my life, leaving so quickly, not feel like I had lost an arm or some other part of ME? But there I was going on. And on and on. Seldom any tears. Then just a welling up that never went anywhere.
And then on Thursday evening I returned to the cottage. The first time this year. While watching TV at night I looked up and saw a collage I made last year. It is full of Tom, Tom and I, Tom and Grandkids but most of all full of so many wonderful memories. And suddenly I remembered that we had had so many wonderful years. Twenty-three with good health. The last three had a lot of deterioration and many physical limitations. Today on the thirteenth month anniversary of his death I had a revlation. I realized that for the past year I was healing myself. I had turned off so much of my feelings the previous three years that I was on idle. I had to be there for Tom mentally and physically. He could not see me crumble, while he dealt with the awful losses that Parkinson's was leaving him with. So I turned of my "feel button" and I fine tuned my "care/give button." Some days that button needed more fine tuning that I could master, but on most days it was working. And then he fell and it was over in a matter of hours. For the life of me I could not find my "feel" button. So I spent the past year with my "care/give" button still on but redirected towards me. I began eating better. I exercise 4-5 days a week. I sleep 8-9 hours a night. I lost 15 pounds. I've done everything I've wanted to when I've wanted to. I've said no when I needed to. Now that phase has been completed. Today I found my "feel" button. I turned it to ON.
Today I spoke with three women who are close to me. They are women who know and understand me and knew Tom and I together. I was able to share this new insight. And in the simple telling the tears came. The first time a little haltingly. The second a little more quickly. The third a full fledged "cry". A gift. Tears to heal the empty part that has now become appearant. A part I could not feel, or see, or even imagine this past year. All I needed to do was find that damn button.
Until next time.....Always, Kathleen
9 years ago