Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Days of Remembrance

If you have been a reader of this blog for long, you know November is the month my husband died. I found him on the bedroom floor on November 11 and his spirit left his body on November 14. It is nearly five years since this journey of loss and bereavement began. In some ways it seems like forever - in some ways a few heartbeats.

In the early days of widowhood from the depths of misery and desolation, I cried out, "when will this be over?" It was a question I asked so many of the widowed that had walked the path ahead of me. I now know the answer to that question. It is "never". It changes but it is never "over" and I suppose it is not supposed to be.

This journey has left its mark. I see the invisible stigmata of widowhood writ large upon my life. I am not the same person who walked out of Woodwinds Hospital alone that Sunday morning. I am a better, more caring and more present person. I am stronger and more resilient. I have good boundaries and I choose carefully how I spend my time and with whom I do so. I have spent a great deal of solitary time the last 5 years and it has been important. I am not lonely (except for missing you know who) in fact, I relish my time alone.

I have wept more tears than I thought one woman could ever produce. I have been held close by my friends and held them close in return. I have been blessed with sisters and brothers of the heart and soul who have been my stalwart companions on this broken road of loss and grief. We have held each others hands as we traveled towards the light - even in the days of being in the black hole of suffering and mourning - we helped each other steer towards the light. My mantra from the depths of the black hole was, "what I am supposed to learn while I am down here AGAIN."

Today - I feel whole - I feel the loss of Tom has been integrated into my life. I am no longer broken. I will long for this man until the hour of my own death - I will shed tears, I will awake in the middle of the night and suddenly remember what was lost. My memories are sweet. I knew unconditional love. I miss my lover, my friend, my flyboy, my husband. And every year, this will be the time of remembrance. That is just the way it is.


  1. Dear Suzann:

    Just came upon your blog and it is exactly what I would say at this time of year. My husband, George, died 6 years ago today and no matter how much time passes, this is always a time of remembrance.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Beth in NC

  2. A beautiful post, Suzann. I was looking at my calendar just this morning and thinking of you. I know so well that the seasons themselves are changed for us because of our hearts have been changed.

    I have been privileged to walk this road with you, and I hold you close in my heart during this time of remembrance and vigil.

  3. This was a very good post. My month is December (2 years for me). I agree with your touching words.
    Thanks for sharing,

  4. Warm thoughts and prayers from me to you. May the memories give you comfort, grace, and peace always.
    Thanks for allowing me to be a virtual part of your being.

  5. Dear Suzann,
    the story of your grief has helped many people in the same situation, me as well. You know that.
    On top of that I was blessed with a visit to your home last year. For a whole weekend.
    We talked a lot about our grief - and it helped. The both of us.

    We had lot's of fun with your friends from FL and also during the Garden Party you gave that Saturday.
    Gave me the opportunity to meet several people of Norwegian origin (20% of Minnesotas population are).
    I'll never forget that weekend.

    Sometimes I wish we lived closer to each other and not 7 Time Zones apart.
    I think you and Anna would be best friends, going "amok" at the Farmers Market (me as well) and create the worlds best cookings from "The Days Catch". And then invite people to unforgetable, organic dinners....

    Hugs across 7 Time Zones

    T and A

  6. I commented, but not sure it was rec'd, so will try again. Hope it doesn't turn out to be a duplicate.

    Interesting how each of us copes with loss in similar but different ways. I am not without memory of the day my husband died, but I feel his loss most keenly during the month of his birthday. In the beginning I consciously made it so, but that month is also significant for other reasons, too.