The Eve of My Third Anniversary of Grief

In just a few hours, it will be three years since the death of my life mate/soul mate. It seems impossible I’ve survived so long. It seems impossible he’s been gone so long. Sometimes I feel as if we just said good-bye, as if I could call him up and see how he is doing, as if when I am finished caring for my father, I could go home again. But of course, those are just tricks of the ever-changing grief process.

I’ve been doing well recently, keeping busy, not letting myself get too caught up in the past. The present is complicated enough with my father’s growing dependency (though he has been doing well the past week or so, taking more of an interest in his own care). And the future is becoming more real, not quite as bleak as it has seemed during the past few years.

020smallFor all these months of grief, I’ve been worried about what will happen to me when my present responsibilities end. Oddly, during my mate’s long dying, I never really thought of the future. I just presumed I’d be okay. He told me things would come together for me, and I believed him. But now that I know how life feels with him gone, I’ve been afraid of stagnating, drowning in loneliness, living as quietly and unobtrusively as I’ve always done. The realization that I don’t have to find a place and settle down but can live on the go if I wish destroyed those fears with one clean stroke, and I’ve spent the past week figuring out the logistics of such an adventurous life. It won’t be easy since I have few financial resources and strong hermit tendencies, but the alternative — stagnation — makes such a future seem possible.

Because of all that is occupying my mind, I thought I’d sail right through this anniversary without an upsurge of grief, (though I always miss him; that’s a given) but grief will not be denied. If I don’t acknowledge my loss and sorrow, grief will acknowledge me. A couple of nights ago, I dreamed I was grieving for him. Dreamed I wanted to go home to him. Dreamed I cried for him. And when I woke, I was crying still.

I guess it’s just as well that the next stage of my life’s journey could be a long way off. Apparently I have grieving left to do. Chances are, I always will grieve to a certain extent, but now I’m more concerned about what to do with my life despite the grief. I’d hate to meet him again some day and have to admit that I spent my life awash in tears. He would be disappointed in me, and to be honest, so would I.

But three years. Has it really been so long since I last saw his smile? Last heard his voice? Last felt his arms around me? It’s hard for me to believe, but the calendar doesn’t lie.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” All Bertram’s books are published by Second Wind Publishing. Connect with Pat on Google+

15 Responses to “The Eve of My Third Anniversary of Grief”

  1. leener814 Says:

    May you find peace in the midst of your grieving.

  2. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Pat, you did the impossible. You survived three years without your soul mate. Some people wouldn’t have been able to handle that. I applaud you for doing so.

  3. Holly Bonville Says:

    Thinking of you today and every day. 🙂

  4. alexiskrystina Says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful, yet tragic post. I can’t imagine the feeling but it sounds like you are being very strong and positive with a great mindset–and it’s truly an inspiration. I wish you well and will pray for you and your loved one 🙂

  5. Sky Sairyou Says:

    Such a beautiful piece. Time heals. It always does. So just give it time.

    “I’d hate to meet him again some day and have to admit that I spent my life awash in tears.” – I couldn’t possibly say it better. Unless those are tears of joy. 😉

    I wish you happiness and the best of luck in your writing!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Thank you. I don’t believe in being stoic when it comes to grief, but at the same time, there is still so much life left for me to live. I just wish he were here to live it with me, but perhaps this is something I need to do alone.

  6. Malene Says:

    You know only too well, Pat, when it comes right down to it, there are no words. Only sentiment. My thoughts, my intention and my care are all with you during these days.

  7. Patty Andersen Says:

    Pat, you have shown such strength and courage so far, I’m sure you will continue to do so. It is okay to grieve any time you need to, the important thing is that you are continuing to live the rest of the time. Wishing you Peace in your life.

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