From The Fog

DSC_8244Yesterday I talked with a friend about something other than death, and the day before that, I laughed. It’s eleven days now since Shel died, and today I awoke with the sensation of having emerged from a numbing fog, feeling surprisingly like myself. I tended my little altar with his pictures and the beautiful flowers that people keep sending me and the candle that’s been lit since he died, but today I haven’t cried. Is this wrong?

I hadn’t cooked anything since that day, either, subsisting on odds and ends of leftovers, nuts, cheese, salami, just opening the fridge and finding something to put in my mouth without thought. Nothing had much taste, anyway. But today I read about scrambling eggs with the steam wand of an espresso machine, and although my first thought was that Shel would kill me for messing up his steam wand with eggy goop, it sounded good. I tried it, and found it surprisingly delicious. Then I rubbed a pork belly with some spices and stuck it in the fridge for a few days, in case I feel like cooking again. Am I coming back to life so soon?

I pored over hundreds of posts today on a site for widows, and most of them confessed to feeling hopelessly alone and robbed of all happiness two, three, even four years after their loss. And everything in me said “no way, that is not going to be me.” Am I delusional?

Many said that the second year of widowhood is harder than the first, since the first year you have to confront all of the anniversaries and holidays alone for the first time, whereas in the second year you come to the realization that your life is going to be like this forever. “But not mine,” I told myself. I embrace the idea of future happiness, and feel today that my life is mine for the making. Am I just riding for a fall?

Shel gave me 20 beautiful years full of love and adventure, and that’s gotten me hooked. I want 20 more. I can’t have them with Shel, but does that mean that I can’t have them at all? He taught me how to be loved, and I owe it to him not to waste that lesson. Today, fog-free, the future looks a little brighter, although completely unknown and unknowable.


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12 Comments on “From The Fog”

  1. Vicki Says:

    I am very touched by your thoughts. Life goes on and if you can work pass the pain and think about the future, more power to you. I have great admiration for your thought process. My thoughts and prayers for you to gain strength for your future and your happiness.

  2. Allene Says:

    I think you are doing the right thing, Abra. You will probably have ups and downs along the way–the various holidays seem to be difficult for many people in the first year or two, but I don’t personally know anyone who is still at that stage three or four years later. You appear to have had a very good and very close relationship with Shel. That will help you in the months to come. I wish you well.

  3. LuAnne Says:

    I love your perspective Abra. You’re not delusional. I think knowing what it’s like to be truly loved might fuel your journey.

  4. Dear Abra, I am smiling. So glad to hear you are letting life in and beginning to embrace it again, for an hour or a day or a minute or a week or ? Your journey is of course unique to you. The “stages” don’t always apply. Your resilience is showing itself. And the effects of the gifts that you and Shel gave each other and what you built together are showing. Thank you so much for sharing this today. I am enjoying this smile.

  5. Barbara Jacquin Says:

    I’m certain that’s exactly what Shel would have wanted you to do. You’re doing fine. Hugs.

  6. Henk and Greta Says:

    Dear Abra, I will save these inspiring words on my computer to read on the day that I hope will never come for me. You are amazing. An honour to Shel.

  7. Cape Coop Says:

    Live in the moment,Abra, that is the best that you can do to honor your love with Shel. Enjoy the heck out of life, squeeze out all the joy that you can.

  8. Alain LAURENT Says:

    Bonjour Abra,
    Tu as bien raison, il faut un peu et même beaucoup penser à Toi,
    je suis certain que si Shel te vois de la haut il ne voudrait pas que tu pleures mais que tu penses à Lui et à tous les bons moment que vous avez pu passer ensemble…Tu dois refaire des projets et te dire si Shel était avec moi, aurait-il aimé ce que je désire faire aujourd’hui?
    Je t’embrasse très fort.

  9. One of the biggest lessons I’ve had in dealing with 3 major deaths in my life was to get rid of the idea that I should be guilty for feeling any happy moments, especially so close in time to their deaths.
    You’ve probably been to funerals or memorial services where large families come together and people haven’t seen each other in a long time, and within an hour or so they are all talking and laughing and telling stories, and then it hits somebody that they’re supposed to be sad and the mood changes. There will be plenty of sad moments sneaking up on us in the future, but we owe it to those who loved us to make our lives the best and happiest possible and spread that love around. Starting with ourselves and starting now.

  10. Price Connor Says:

    Abra, I am so happy your are feeling a sense of moving forward. You an Shel had such a wonderful life together, filled with love and adventure, so I know you will want that feeling again. I expect to read on your blog one day, “I am moving to France, Bonjour! “

  11. Barry Twyman Says:

    If the reverse had happened, I really think I would be reading the same sentiments from Shel . Our candle is still burning, but only happy memories are present . You are following the path you and Shel embarqued upon 20 years ago ….. xx

  12. Haven Rich Says:

    Laura and I totally approve. Yes to life, as soon as possible, which as you say is right now!

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