August 5, 2009

Always Expect the Unexpected!

A strange thing happened on the way to the grave site...

Fr. Fred told me several times that I would have to go through some "firsts" for the 12 months following AC's death - his birthday, Christmas, Easter, and other church holy days, my birthday, our anniversary, his work anniversary, your birthdays, anything that he and I would make a point of celebrating together and thought was special to us. The first few months I can look back on and say I must have still been in shock. Yes, I cried every day, but melancholy/feelings of doom didn't really settle in until most of the probate paperwork had been done and I didn't have a "project" to keep me occupied and busy every minute of every day.

I have always had a working calendar with every birthday or important date written in black marker to remind me to send a card or remember a special time in our married lives. After he died, I got out my hospital journal and transferred milestones of his death and funeral to this calendar, along with all the "special" dates. After I developed the neurological tremors and balance problems recently, the doctor put me on meds and told me to "stop keeping track of the 'dark dates' and put that shit away!" I was not very happy with THAT suggestion as you can imagine, but I can see his point now. Every time I turned the page to a new month, I looked for something written down to be sad and melancholy about. Not good medicine! Did my using the calendar help me grieve? You bet. Did it help bring the memories of that day back in vivid color? Very much so. Did it help me gain a sense of hope for the future? No way, and that was the doc's point. Yes, grieving is important and learning to deal with it is something I have to do, every day. But after December 2009, I won't be transferring AC's "sad" moments to the new calendar.

I had been hoping to spend part of today, the one-year anniversary of his death, with Shannon at his grave site. I really looked forward to being sad, crying, moaning out loud, and giving him hell for putting off going to Trevor and dying on me. What happened instead has turned out to be a blessing, I think. Shannon's kidneys became badly infected and she was in enough pain that her boyfriend took her to the ER on Monday night and she was admitted to RRMC Women's hospital Tuesday morning on a drip of Morphine, Demerol, and antibiotics. After a couple of nights in the hospital, she was quickly on the road to recovery and was slotted to be discharged this morning. Her doctor had to deliver a baby and we just got home at 6:30 PM tonight, so the day was shot and my plans never saw fruition.

Why was my not going to the grave site a blessing? I was able to spend the last 2 days at AC's hospital and visit with his staff in administration, cry together, laugh over silly stories of things he had said or done, hear how much they missed him, see for myself that his death had seriously affected other people and not just me. Instead of mourning by myself, I was surrounded at different times of the day by people that cared for him nearly as much as I did and were willing to grieve his loss with me. Wouldn't you consider that a blessing, too?

God is awesome!

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