Today marks the fourth “anniversary” of the death of My Love, Paul. I still don’t really know how I want to refer to that day. I see a lot of Christian widows refer to that day as “the day my spouse changed addresses,” or “home going,” or “angel-versary,” or even “Heavenly anniversary.” All, with the exception of “angel-versary,” are true statements for me. I don’t believe my husband became an angel. Angels are angels and humans have souls which go to Heaven to be with God. It is true I believe Paul is in Heaven with God. Intellectually and emotionally it brings me comfort on his behalf, and most of the other 364 days of the year (or 365 days in a Leap Year), I do feel happy for him. Somehow though, by adopting the cheery “he changed his address” and others like it, make me feel I shouldn’t be sad about him not being here with me. After all, isn’t our desire as Christians, our ultimate desire, to be with God in Heaven? I feel sadness. I feel sadness about my son going to his friend’s Eagle Scout ceremony later today and his returning to the house sad he does not have a Dad to give the “Dad” pin to when he becomes an Eagle Scout. I know every time we attend this type of ceremony it opens this wound for him and how much more so it will today of all days. The only thing worse than my own sadness, is to witness the tremendous loss my children experience on big event days, me knowing there is no way I can or should try to make up for it. I am proud of myself though. I have grown more confident in my abilities. I have made peace with the reality I can not be both “mother” and “father.” I can’t make up for that loss. I have almost quit saying “I am a crappy mother.” I know that I am more capable, stronger, and just plain “more” than I was the day he died. I still struggle a bit with figuring out the answer to the question “who am I now?” Grief has changed me. I came across a quote today on one of the widow support Facebook groups I belong to, that really captures how I would like others to understand me:
You don’t know this new me;
I put back my pieces differently. @HighPoetsSociety
I don’t even fully know the new me yet. I see my life as a puzzle picture now. When Paul died, the old life, that puzzle, completely fell apart. As I am putting together my new puzzle picture, the outer edges and even a few rows on all sides have been placed, but the middle where you have to really look at the shape of each piece in relation to the shape of the pieces already placed, that part is still a void. I know this year has brought tremendous growth, and I am excited to see where I am a year from now. What will the “new me” look like next year? Only time can reveal the answer. I feel at peace with this part of my journey.
Love you forever and always, to the moon and back Paul, My Love.