Note: This was originally posted at on 11/1/13

Last Monday marked one year since FHA died. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel that day and can confirm my brain went “BLURP” and took the day off. I visited the cemetery, clearing oak leaves off his grave and placed a red rose there. I had already put a gourd there a few days earlier (see post entitled “Gourd” at for the story). In the evening, I met friends and ate obscene amounts of meat in honor of FHA, carnivore extraordinaire.

I have many thoughts about passing the one year mark and I hope to put them into a number of posts. I have been asked to write a short essay for the local paper as well as a weekly post for a widows webpage. I think I am ready and able to do those things now. But today, I want to talk about dragging FHA. I hope I can convey the very personal thoughts I have in a way all can understand. Here I go.

When FHA died, I hauled my grief around like a HUGE rock. I equated it to the myth about Sisyphus, pushing the rock up the hill all day, only to have it roll back down at night. I would wake up the next morning and do it all over again. And again. And again. It was awful.

As time has passed, another visual image emerged, one of me dragging FHA along with me everywhere, by his feet, by his armpits, by his collar. I am not strong and he was 6’2″. I was tired, fatigued, worn out. Do I mention I am widowed? Do I keep bringing him up in conversation? What would he think about this decision or that decision? What role does he have in my life now? In our children’s lives? I believe even though he has passed away, he still has a role as my husband and our kids’ father. I believe he is still an active parent, just in a different way, as a spirit being. But do these roles mean I need to drag him in my grief-like manner?

I have come to the conclusion I do not have to drag FHA any longer. For me, the time to drag is over. My life, happily, doesn’t have the hills it did and I don’t think FHA wants to be dragged any more. It hurts to be dragged. I know I wouldn’t want to be. I can picture him saying, “Karen, stop dragging me. I will be up your mortal life road a little, waiting for you. We can catch up there. After that, keep walking and living, and I will meet you a little farther up the road for a visit.” We are each adjusting to the new way our roles play out.
Another thing about dragging is the fact the dragger has to keep looking back at the draggee. FHA doesn’t want me looking back, only forward. Searching for him on at the edge of the horizon, so we can meet up, visit, and keep traveling.

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.