Shortly after my husband died, I clearly remembered an experience he related to me years ago. He was a child at church class and was asked to give the class roll to an adult. He left his classroom and tracked down the church secretary. Being little, he waited while the adults were talking. He waited and waited. Finally, he said, “WAKE UP!” That got him more attention than he desired.

I remembered this experience because after his death I felt him telling me to, “GET LIVING!” with the same force he told the adults to wake up. I thought, “Gee, it hasn’t even been a month since you died and you want me to get living. You try doing that. You never bossed me in mortality, why are you doing it now?” After thinking about it, I decided to follow his advice and get living.

I have done pretty well, trying to squeeze as much life out of each day as I possibly can. In fact, I am doing really well. So well I began to feel guilty, but I wasn’t sure what I felt guilty about. Was it because I don’t go to the cemetery very often? Was it because I don’t remember the months of his passing very well? Am I neglecting him somehow? Have I sufficiently explored, wrung out, and endured my grief? Am I not thinking about him enough? Was it okay to be really happy with my life, even though he isn’t here?

I have come to the conclusion these feelings are probably normal for a widow as she moves forward. I also feel my grief is a place I can visit, rather than be omnipresent. I am not neglecting him, rather honoring him as I move forward with a happy life. In fact, I feel him pushing me along this path to being happy and I am grateful for that. After all, he was the one who told me to GET LIVING!