As I watch my friends and fellow bloggers reflect upon the end of the year, I have a sense of joy for all that is happening to others around me. There is a feature that keeps rolling across my Faceb.ook timeline called “Year in Review”. Seeing the year that my friends and family have had, makes me smile at their successes and achievements, while continuing to wish them well on the not so great moments.
For me, the year was defined by my husband’s death. Maybe in years to come 2012 will have an abundance of layered memories. But at this moment, the singular, overarching thought is simply that in 2012 my husband died. Oh there’s more of course. As a ripple to his death, my heart experienced blackness I didn’t know existed, my mind was pushed near the point of madness and my life changed course in the most unexpected of ways.
So, it is with bittersweet apprehension that I peek at 2013. I can already sense the great relief at seeing a different year in “print”, while acknowledging that 2012 represents a time when my husband was alive and with us. I spotted the quotation above and it struck a chord. We thought we had more time. Who’s to say how much more time, but we didn’t see his time here on earth ending in June. 2013 starts anew without him. There will never be another calendar year in which he is present. There isn’t a day that I don’t think of him at least a dozen times. But he isn’t here. And I am. I continue to push forward in fits and starts. Some days I experience bursts of laughter so true and authentic that I feel guilt, even as my face cracks a smile. Other days I feel waves of despair so deep and dark that I think this will be the one to push me over the edge and I struggle to hold it together.
But held it together is what I’ve done. Yup, I’ve done it for 6.5 months. Not with a flourish or exclamation point. No, rather with a battered dingy, full of holes and a roll of super sticky duct tape that keeps getting tangled in my hands. I can’t stop thanking God for this special duct tape though. My duct tape is made up of tears, deep breaths, long periods of silence, held breath, collective prayer, family, friends and tons of wine.
We have survived my 36th birthday, my 8th wedding anniversary, my husband’s 37th birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh what an emotional ride this holiday season has been. Tonight, NYE marks a “holiday” full of traditions that we built over the years, but that he and I won’t ever share again.
My prayer for 2013 is that I remain gentle with myself as I certainly know there is no “end” to what I’m experiencing while trying to be as in the moment as I can with our son, Little TDJ. May peace and blessings be upon all of you and your loved ones, today and in the year to come.