15 and a half months to be exact.
Where has time gone?
I’m in such a bizarre stage in this journey of widowhood and grief…It’s hard to really put into words…If September 29th of 2018 wasn’t enough of a realization that I had survived days, weeks, and months without my husband, round two of the holidays, another birthday and another New Year sure cemented the fact that yep…
Still a widow.
However, different and unforeseen emotions have taken over as I approach month 4 of year two…Day by day, I am fully beginning to realize just how far time is taking me from Nate and the life we once had.
When people ask me when my husband died, I’ll say 2017. It’s 2019.
When people ask how old I was when he died, I’ll say 30. I’m now 32.
When people ask how old Ian was. He was 3. He turns 5 in 3 months.
All of the above are random facts that bizarrely sting each time I think about them.
I heard within the first few months after losing Nate that the second year of widowhood tends to be more difficult then the first. In that moment, I vividly remember thinking back to that infamous Clark Griswold quote…“How could things get any worse! We’re on the threshold of hell, Ellen!”
Well, as approach month four of year two, I both agree and disagree with this sentiment. Year one of widowhood (for me personally) was comprised of daily attempts to wrap my mind around the reality of what had happened and panicking about what the hell I was supposed to do next. It was full of steps that had yet to be taken, questions that had no clear answer, and trying desperately to comprehend how I was not only going to live the rest of my life without my husband, but how I was going to raise our son on my own.
Year one was full of emotions that seemed to vary every single day. I’d be crying my eyes out one moment and then furious and on the verge of breaking something the next. The next day, or hell, the next hour I’d quite possibly then find myself laughing in a fit of hysterics while sipping wine or staring at a wall numbly convinced that I was living someone else’s life. The roller coaster that is grief had sharper turns and unexpected, steeper dips in year one. All I could do was batten down the hatches, and let the ride (or crazy train) carry me into the unknown.
Year two is so different. I’m still on that unfortunate roller coaster, but the turns and dips are more predictable and therefore, a little bit easier to handle most times…
Most times not including the holidays, anniversaries…or really any celebration. Those important dates have been harder on me then last year. The only conclusion I can come to is that last year I was still in a state of disbelief and numbness. Quite honestly, I barely remember any holiday last year due to that numbness…This year? I felt every moment of his absence….And it sucked. I spent December trying to figure out ways I could get away with packing up my bags and moving to a deserted Island, so I could gorge myself on wine and lobster (I know what you’re thinking…What deserted island has lobster readily available, but dammit I’d find a way…or I guess I could settle for wine and coconuts…or maybe I’d find a way to fish or hunt whatever animals were on said island…As long as I had the wine, people. And if you are still reading this far into the parenthesis you are probably thinking WHOA this is far off track and you would right sooo moving on…)
I will say, that besides those big days that I’m convinced will always be a bit difficult for me…for the most part? In totality, the tears don’t plague me on a daily basis as much as last year. The pain of losing Nate is just as deep as it was when I saw him lying in that emergency room, however I have spent the last half of year one, and all of year two so far, fully living life without him. I have officially set the tone to where the rest of my life is headed, without him. And it’s tragic that I have had to do that…yet it’s something I am also incredibly proud of. Because Nate is not coming back…
Around the year anniversary of his death, I began to fully realize the permenance of his death (no, seeing him lowered into the ground was not enough). I still wake up often times uncertain that this all really happened, but the shock has officially worn off. I miss him just as much as I always have (even more in some ways), but year two has made me more eager to seek out that sense of normalness we once had…And we are making strides towards that everyday. Ian and I have a routine we are fully adjusted to. I’m in school with a finish date next year. He starts kindergarten this year. Most excitingly, I have the potential to move back out next year with my little, family of three.
So is year two more difficult than year one? I guess I’ll have to reevaluate come September 29th of this year. Time changes grief, I’ve learned…but it’s always there. Fifteen months in, this roller coaster ride continues on and on and so far the only thing I can conclude is that it’s just different. Nate’s death isn’t the focus of each of my days like before, but there are still many moments, whether it be on a particular day, or when a memory comes to mind, when the pain runs just as deep and instantly takes my breath away. I miss Nate. I love him. I always will. Year three, four, five, 40, 50, or 60 won’t change that. The life he gave me was my greatest gift, and his love will always be a part of me.
So here’s me continuing to batten down the hatches as I journey through another year of widowhood. If I disappear in the month of December this year, just know I’m probably safe and sound somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, sippin on some wine and fishing for some lobster (or do you even “fish” for lobster?) I leave you with that mind boggling conclusion.
To be continued…