This week brings us into Grief Season, a two week stretch of milestones and anniversaries. We have successfully navigated the passing of another Mother’s Day, the last full day we had a healthy, happy Tim in our presence. Yesterday, May 15th, brought the anniversary of his heart attack. The Urgent Care visit, our drive into Brooklyn, the feelings of frustration and annoyance I had towards him that I have recycled and regretted a thousand times over. The shocked look in his eyes when his heart seized up. CPR on the living room floor. The beginning of the unknown.
I’m doing surprisingly well overall. I feel firmly settled into my new life, navigating the new challenges of homeownership, career, housework, childcare, dating, life. I’m learning and growing with my new experiences, keeping Tim’s legacy permanently tattooed to my heart like his words inked into my skin.
“…may we create the best possible universe together…”
Year two has brought new life experiences and obstacles. I’m having to learn quickly and leave my ego aside as I navigate this new existence without him. My grief has softened it’s edges and rests comfortably in the corners of my consciousness. It doesn’t strangle my brain anymore with it’s black, toxic numbness. The sadness can be heavy, but it no longer weights me down like the leaden coat I wore through the first year. I no longer get flashbacks. I manage trauma triggers effectively. I’m healing.
I’m lonely, I can admit that. I miss him. I miss companionship, intimacy, the feeling of being valued by a loving partner. Most of all, I miss him as the father he had always dreamed of being. The kind of dad who would have coached youth sports and taught his kids to ride bikes and skateboards. The kind of dad who would have sat down and lovingly supported his children through homework and creative projects and heartache. The kind of dad who gave baths and read bedtime stories, and enveloped his children and wife with open arms and heart. The father of my children. My Tim.
I’m stronger. Stronger than I ever imagined I could have been. I’m confident and outgoing and passionate. I take advantage of the experiences life offers me far more enthusiastically and openly than I ever did before. I no longer take any of what I have for granted. I more fully embrace my existence and what I truly wish to do with this life. I’m still learning, growing, expanding. A woman forged in fire, singed hair and heart muscle. Still fighting. Still loving. Always working on it.
The eternal winter is slowly fading over the daffodils and tulips sprouting in my perennial beds. The sunlight is stronger. The birds sing in the trees surrounding our home. This morning, Claira danced in the kitchen and repeatedly exclaimed “Dis is a HAPPY HOUSE!”.
It is, indeed.
We are happy. We are thriving. We are evolving. We press on.
Two years, my love. You would be awfully proud of us.