Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What I Have Learned this YEAR!

Things I have learned this past year:

1. Losing one's spouse is harder than I ever could have imagined it would be.

2. You can never prepare yourself for death.

3. The sun will keep coming up everyday!

4. I am stronger than I ever knew.

5. You never run out of tears.

6. Memories matter.

7. We all grieve differently.

8. I will smile and laugh again.

9. It's okay to do NOTHING but sit in my recliner.

10. No one else is going to see those cobwebs in the corner.

11. It won't matter if I don't go.

12. People will still think what they want.

13. Death heals nothing.

14. Kids grow taller and stand straighter and become stronger, no matter what.

15. I will always love him.

16. WE were very set in our ways. And now it is just MY WAY!

17. Cooking for three isn't much different than cooking for four. I just don't have anything to puree now.

18. We will manage on half the income we had.  

19. Not having to listen for someone at night doesn't necessarily mean I will get more sleep.

20. Losing him will always be the hardest thing I have ever done.

21. I will survive.

I have written 21 things on my list in honor of the 21st day of the month in which Richard died. It will soon be one year. I am feeling it come. Does that make any sense to you? I have been having more 'waves of grief' lately and I think it is in anticipation of the BIG anniversary. Nothing will change. On the 22nd all will still be the same. But I will have that first year of 'firsts' behind me.


  1. You've captured these truisms in such simplicity - and, oh my gosh, poignantly.
    This awful anniversary is, indeed, a ritual. I don't pretend to have known Richard, but I've a feeling he would be honored ... and so dang proud of you.

    1. I think so too Myra! But he would have also thrown in there a 'told you so.'

  2. December 28th will be my one year anniversary - mom's dead. The relationships we lost were different, but there are some responses that are exactly the same. Like #9. It is ok to just sit in the recliner and do nothing. That one reaction for me was a stunning one. When I am upset I usually am a whirlwind of activity - a way to burn off the emotions bubbling inside. Mom's death was different - I spent most of the winter sitting, staring out the window - for me it was a kind of numbness. Like I couldn't wrap my head around what happened even through I knew and expected and had plenty of time to prepare. hmmm ... I think that was number 2.

    Hugs friend.

    1. I did a lot of that just sitting and staring. Thank you Elaine!

  3. Your whole post makes perfect sense to me! I'm praying for you, dear one. I remember well that first year. You do survive but at times you question that fact. He was much loved by a wonderful lady.

  4. (((Paula))) So much sadness in what you learned this year. So true life goes on, just goes on so differently. I haven't lost a spouse, but I can only say in the next month be very kind to yourself. Like you said, who cares about the cobwebs and your true friends will be okay with it if you don't attend something. Just do what you need to do to get through the month. Keep the tissues and Kleenex handy and allow yourself just to be. Don't beat yourself up if you just want to spend days sitting on the recliner.


    1. Thanks Betty! All good advice that I will follow

  5. You nailed it! Hope you spot a white butterfly too.

  6. When we lose those we love, they always remain with us. I can't claim to know the grief of losing a spouse, but I still treasure memories of my Grandma who died 18 years ago and I wish I could have gotten to know her better as an adult. May the peace of God be with you this month.

  7. You do what is best for you Paula! Don't worry about outside influences or cobwebs. Sit and stare as long as you want if that is what you need to do. Sitting in silence brings much insight in my opinion.... Everyone grieves differently - there is no right or wrong way. Again, you do what you need to do!!

    Linda in VA

  8. I read somewhere that the anniversary dredges things up, and it seems harder than expected. I hope that's wrong. I'm so sorry for your loss.


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