I’ve had 10 birthdays since my husband died and yesterday was the first birthday I celebrated when I didn’t think of him once during the day.
I am not telling you this to sound sad or to express joy. No way.
I write of this today to say it’s confusing. I never thought it would happen. I’m not sure what it means, if it means anything. I didn’t even realize it happened until the end of the day when I was getting ready to go to sleep.
I still miss him dearly but I guess I am also reporting in to those of you who are mourning a loved one that it is possible for a time to come when that deceased person is not always going be at the front of your brain. That the memories you have of that person aren’t always going to be constantly running like a feature film in your consciousness.
I know that sounds hard to believe because there was a time when I couldn’t imagine that ever happening to me; that I wouldn’t be thinking of my husband at some point during the day or night. But yesterday having no thought of him on my birthday happened quietly and it was weird.
I know it doesn’t mean that I don’t love my husband any less for not thinking of him yesterday. I still love him very much but I’m just surprised that I didn’t have some flashback memory yesterday to a birthday, any birthday, that we celebrated together or even had a wistful thought of wishing he were here with me.
I think this shows how true it really is that there is no way to know how long it will take you to process your grief feelings. Six months. A year. Two years. Maybe longer. Everyone grieves differently and takes different paths in their grief journey.
I had no way of knowing how grief would work for me, but I always knew inside myself that I wanted to learn how to live with all of the treasured thoughts and mental pictures of our life together even though my husband was deceased.
I wanted to heal, it’s just that it took me awhile to figure out that healing didn’t mean leaving him behind.
Day by day, step by step, just putting one foot in front of the other, I think I’m finally learning how to embrace him while giving myself permission to live the way I want.
i cried reading this. My brother- in- law died 17 years ago. He was like a second father to me and the center of our large family. I think of him so often, but now it is not with sadness all the time. My son and I exchange ” Bob” stories and just cackle. My sister still misses him desperately, especially as she ages alone. But she has a life and enjoys her children and grandchildren. I think we have reached some point– but I don’t know what that point is.
Mary Kate Cranston
Oh Debbie, I am touched that you have shared such an intimate story. I know what you mean about reaching a point in processing your grief. It’s kind of a “push pull” feeling of wanting to move ahead while feeling as though you are being pulled back to the time when your loved one was alive. Thanks so much for letting me and others know about your special brother-in-law Bob. Hugs!
Beautiful insights on your journey and helping others along the same path is remarkable.
Mary Kate Cranston
Oh my goodness Girlie!! Thank you so much for reading and supporting me!! Love you!!