Today is the three-year anniversary of the day I left our home behind to come look after my then 93-year-old father. I still yearn to go home at times, but not back to the house — back to Jeff, my life mate/soul mate. He was my home. Still, leaving that house was a physical wrench. It was where we had spend two decades together. It is where we were living when he died. It’s where I endured the worst day of my life.
Although I no longer have the gut-wrenching, breath-taking, soul-shattering pain of those first terrible months after Jeff’s dath, I am still amazed how many of the feelings are the same as at the beginning.
Exactly three years ago today, I wrote in my grief journal:
Sometimes I think I’m dramatizing this whole situation, making a big deal out of a natural occurrence, then grief swallows me and I know Jeff’s death and my reaction to it is real.
I’m almost ready to leave, to start the next phase of my life. Will I be happy as my sister suggested? Will things come together for me as Jeff said? Will I stagnate during this transitional phase or will I find a new creativity, a new focus?
I feel like a fledgling being pushed from the nest with no idea of how to use my wings. Whether I look forward to the change or look back in longing, whether I drag my feet or wing it, I’m leaving here. Alone.
I have many doubts and fears, but despite them, I hope I will run to meet my destiny. And if there is no destiny? If there is no happiness for me? Well, I’ll accept whatever comes, both good and bad, with courage.
Today, I still am dealing with doubts and fears, still wondering if there is a destiny to run to meet, still wondering if I will ever be happy, or if this is the way I will always feel. So far, I have not yet found a new focus, though I am trying to fish for life, trying to do new things, to go new places, to be spontaneous.
My life is bound by death, it seems. First my brother’s death, then my mother’s, then Jeff’s, and now . . . Well, my father isn’t near death, but he is declining. Death is not a good way to live. At least not for me. I don’t know how people deal with all this loss. Well, yes, I do — with courage.
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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.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.