Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Since the day this picture was taken in 1985, this has been my life. Tom and Kathy. 
Now, 27 years later I have come to fully realize that it no longer is. Now some of you may be thinking "we'll of course not." Tom has been gone from this world for 19 months. Believe me, if anyone has been counting it's been me.

The Grief Process is an interesting thing. Proc-ess 1/pra-ses;noun: 1.a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end: a natural or involuntary series of changes.  That sums it up pretty well. I've been going through this process. While my mind has fully known of Tom's absence my heart and spirit has been lagging behind. 

At first there is the shock of it all, especially when it's an accident. Then there is all the "business" matters that have to be tended to. Then there's that first year EVERYONE warns you about. "Don't make any big decisions." "Don't make any drastic changes." Maybe you heed the advice, maybe you don't. I'm a heeder. It has something to do with my upbringing.
I'm not saying that is a bad thing, I'm just saying it's what I did, by choice. 

Then there's this heart thing. Wanting to feel his presence. Lying in bed spooned against a King size pillow pretending to have my arm around him. Or pressing my back up against that same pillow and believing I can feel his warmth. Remembering that this was how we fell asleep together every night. Sitting on my balcony or on a beach or even driving on the highway and gazing at a sunset. Talking aloud to him about it and now believing that he is in it. That he comes every evening just to say goodnight to me. All of these things bring me comfort and make me feel that I'm really not alone.

For 19+ months this has been my routine. It has varied little. I've carried on. 

But, since my arrival in Naples I have been sensing unrest. Something is different. Something suddenly doesn't feel "right".  It's taken me a month to figure it out. This is what I think it might be, I REALIZE I've been living "our" life. I've been submerged in this thing called the "Grief Process".  I think I'm ready to start living "my life" now. I think I've healed enough to now just be feeling a little bit sore. I think I need to make some new choices about what my life will be.

I've pretty much decided that this will likely be my last winter in Florida.  I will stay North in the cold and grey and work at making sunrises in my life. I will invest in friends and family and make commitments to activities that up until today I was unable to do. I'm sure I'll find places to visit that are warm and have beaches if only to make the winter more tolerable. But I can't begin "my life"  when I'm gone for so long.  

"Our life" is over. It was a wonderful life and I'm grateful for every moment we had. 

I am ready to embrace "my life". But I'll tell you a secret, I will never be able to look at a sunset without KNOWING that it really is my Tom coming to say goodnight!☀☀☀☀

Until next time....Always, Kathleen

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