As soon as I think I’m doing ok, suddenly, I’m definitely NOT ok. Grief grabs me by the heart and violently shakes me. Maybe it’s a place, a memory, a feeling and even a smell that sneaked up on me and reminded me Roger is gone forever. Yesterday’s sun and mild temperature were bittersweet. I walked alone and tried to let the sunshine and warmth be my walking partners. I kept waiting for Roger to walk along with me. He didn’t show up, but grief did.
I grieved for several years as dementia relentlessly claimed more and more of Roger. I thought I knew how I would feel when Roger died. I was wrong. No matter how long I had known Roger was dying, his death still shocked me and brought pain beyond anything I had ever experienced or imagined.When his last breath came, my heart was still begging him to stay, but what I said was “It’s all-right to leave, Roger. I will be ok.”
My last gift to Roger was letting him go; a gift that completely used me up.
Roger died four months ago. The high and low spikes of grief are still so extreme I can’t see a straight line. At times the waves of grief gently roll onto the shore; at other times grief is a wall of water, a tsunami, roaring towards shore, and I am running for my life. Lately, I have more moments of focusing on my life and not thinking about Roger.When I realize I have “forgotten”Roger for a few minutes, I feel guilty because I am alive and he is not. Grief and guilt are painful partners.
So often we resist talking about death; even though it is the ONLY certainty that life offers.When a song ends with the perfect note, it feels right and complete, and we are satisfied. In denying death we rob ourselves of composing our own song and creating our last, beautiful note to sound for eternity . When I am quiet I can hear Rogers’ beautiful note, a symphony of one.