The Return of the Sad Saturday

My life mate/soul mate died on a Saturday, and for a couple of years, I had an upsurge of grief every Saturday even when I didn’t realize what day it was. (Somehow my body remembered.) It’s been a long time since I’ve had a grief upsurge and an even longer time since I’ve had a sad Saturday, but today I am tearful. I seldom dream about him, but early this morning I dreamt that someone we both knew had died. As we looked at the empty bed, he said, “It’s strange that she died right after I invited her to live with us.” I responded, “Maybe that’s what allowed her to die. Maybe the point of life is death.”

I woke then, and remembered that he was dead, and it made me sad. I haven’t been thinking about him much lately. I’ve been keeping myself busy, trying to build strength and rebuild my life, but this morning, my whole house-of-cards life came tumbling down.

I just now returned from a ramble in the desert, so the sadness has dissipated a bit, but all the pieces of my life are still in a heap at my feet. As the next few days progress, I’ll pick up the pieces one by one, and maybe this time the structure I build will have more permanence. Or not. No matter how good an attitude I have, no matter how much I become immersed in life-affirming activities, he is still dead and there isn’t anything I can do about it. I just have to continue on, realizing that my life has worth. I have worth.

At the beginning of my grief, I could not fathom ever being happy again, which was okay since somehow I didn’t think I had the right to be happy, but I no longer think that way. If our positions were reversed, I wouldn’t want him to spend his life mourning for me.

Still, it’s only natural to feel sad and to miss the person who meant more than anyone else, so I’ll remember him with sadness today, remember what he meant to me, remember his courage and his smile.

Tomorrow will be soon enough to go about the business of rebuilding my life and finding whatever happiness I can.


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.

16 Responses to “The Return of the Sad Saturday”

  1. mikesteeden Says:

    Quite beautifully written! Whilst memories persist the dream is still alive. Hang in there.

  2. siderealview Says:

    thank you Pat, such a lovely outpouring in your own gift of words. They alone will sustain you, but bless you for sharing your grief as we often learn more from those inner moments than from a thousand outer blips… ❤

  3. Lorraine Says:

    oh,pat,what a blessing you are to us who have lost our other half.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It is hard, isn’t it? I wish none of us had to deal with grief, but considering that we do, it’s good to connect with others who are dealing with the same sorrows.

  4. Juliana Says:

    It never occured to me what the sad Saturday thing was about. After reading your post, I googled Dec. 31,2011. There it was…Saturday. That explains so much why I hate weekends, especially Saturdays so much. Ever since my husband died that Saturday night just before the new year, Saturdays and Sundays have been filled with anxiety and regret.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      There are so many strange and inexplicable events and feelings that go along with grief, and this body memory is one of them. I never figured out how my body knew it was Saturday before I became aware of it, but it did know.

      So much trauma goes along with grief, it’s amazing that any of us manage to survive. And yet the days (and the Saturdays) do pass.

      Sending you hugs.

  5. Paula Kaye Says:

    My heart aches for you and for my future grief every time I read one of your posts. I am sending a big hug your way.

    Smidgens, Snippets, & Bits

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You are very brave to be doing so much grief research now. I don’t know if I could have handled it if I knew what I would have to deal with. But maybe this “pre-grief” will make it easier for you. I do know a couple of women who grieved while their husbands were dying, so all they had to deal with afterward were the emptiness and loneliness (which is hard enough) without having to deal with the pain.

      I think of you often, and wish you strength and moments of peace.

      • Paula Kaye Says:

        You are so very kind Pat. My sister grieved for her husband the entire 3 years he was home dying. She went through every stage and it looked just like the stages that I learned about in nursing school. Guess what she did within the first year after he died…..found a new man. I can’t even begin to imagine that!

  6. Juliet Waldron Says:

    Beautiful pictures and images, Pat.

  7. Joy Collins Says:

    I’m glad I am not the only one who grieves the day. For me it’s Sunday night/Monday morning.
    And even traveling back to NY is a trigger since John passed in NY while were visiting my family. Sadly, I can’t avoid those visits. So the upcoming holidays are a double whammy since I will be going back for both.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      It’s the double whammy’s that are the hardest because there is no getting away from the pain for even a moment. Thank you for continuing to tell me about your struggles with grief. It does help to know I’m not the only one who still struggles with grief.

  8. S April Says:

    Dear Pat,
    I came across your blog a couple of days ago when I googled “grief after two years”. I have now read many of your posts (and the comments) and I am looking forward to reading them all. I am very sorry that your soul mate has died. Virtually everything you write is something I can relate to, from counting grief in days, then weeks, then months, to tapes with their voices or favourite music – really the instances would be too numerous to mention when I said ‘yes, that is so true’, because nearly everything applies to me… Seeing the comments I think many of us feel the same. I thank you for putting into words what many (and certainly I) feel.
    I cry when I read your lines and I am very thankful that I can do this. I am happy that I’ve found your writings – they will be very important as I carry on living without my soul mate. All the best for now, Silvia

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      And I cry when I read such comments as yours since I know (as well as anyone can know) the pain you are struggling with. It’s a hard journey we are on, but for me it’s been made easier by the companions I have met along the way and all the lonely women who have stopped by to tell their stories. One thing I have learned is how strong we are — even though we might rail against the need to continue on alone, we do continue to live.

      Wishing you peace.

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