I did not think Valentine’s Day would be too bad. We had been married for 37 years and didn’t really celebrate the day anymore, for goodness sake.
Or did we?
I opened FB that morning and 10 years of memories hit me. We didn’t do elaborate celebrations anymore, but I realized we quietly marked the day with sweet little traditions. He would cook me breakfast before work, which included a heart shaped omelet. I would pick up a couple pounds of crawfish for a quiet dinner to be eaten in front of the TV (watching Walton’s re-runs, no doubt). Filling a vase with whatever we could find growing in the yard to decorate our dining table.
I will never experience those moments anymore, and that made my cry.
I have been growing stronger each day, so this step back took me totally off guard. The mourning was so tense, it became physical. My heart was burning and felt tight and constricted. I could swear someone had my heart in their hand and were squeezing as hard as they could.
I reached out to a few other widow friends, and we were all suffering. Julia and I discussed how memories were normally comforting, but today we were drowning in them. Debbie said even after 3 years the pain was still so raw for her. Julie told me God’s got us, the firsts are always the hardest and we will make it.
I do not want to bring others down on this day of celebrating love, but my co-workers find me crying in my cubicle. I do not want to allow this sadness and anger to turn my heart to stone and become bitter. I want to celebrate love and I want to always be happy for couples who get to celebrate this time together. God, please allow me to be happy for others even though my heart is breaking.
I’m still mad at him for taking his own life, and that anger continues to buffer some of my sadness. I took his picture off of my cubicle wall, and threw it in my top drawer. Then I removed the picture and flung it in the bottom drawer because I decided he wasn’t top drawer worthy.
But on this day, there was no anger, just deep, gut wrenching, heart constricting pain
My therapist advised me to accept these days and just to sit in my grief for a moment.
But oh God, it just hurts so bad.
For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5
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