It’s been a softer year this year.
The pain hasn’t been as intense.
The longing hasn’t been as intense.
And most importantly, I haven’t spent the past month or so fighting my brain. Suicide hasn’t been an option.
For the past 4 years, my brain has been telling me that suicide is an option around this time of year. This year? That hasn’t happened.
I’ve looked towards those further out in this journey than me to see how I might react as days and months go by. 2nd year was harder than the first just like they said. Things got harder and easier, just like they said.
But around 5 years, it seems that widows and widowers start to diverge. There’s those who are still grieving hard and then there’s those for whom it gets softer.
That’s not to say that those who are grieving hard haven’t moved forward, some of them are remarried and some are still alone. And for the ones who it’s gotten softer, they are either still alone or remarried. There is no hard and fast rules. It just comes down to a matter of there being some who are grieving hard still and some for whom the grief has softened somewhat.
And for me, things have softened.
Don’t get me wrong. I still have days of ugly cries. I have moments of tears leaking down my face while I’m almost unaware of it. I have days where the pain is still so intense I can’t breathe.
But those days are further apart. Those moments happen less often. And the pain doesn’t last as long as it used to.
So here I am. June 26. The day he died 5 years ago. Getting ready for work.
And this is what I mean by softer.
Every other year I have been unable to function. This year… I’m going to work with people who will trigger memories and tweak the pain. This year, I did not take the day off like I normally do.
This year… I’m living.
He is never far from my mind. His name is said on a fairly regular basis. He will never be forgotten as long as I live, as long as my children live.
He died. It devastated me. I almost died with him (there’s an actual study on that. People DO die of a broken heart!)
But this year I’m living.
This year I’m going to go care for people who may or may not have the chance to go home. (Some do, some don’t)
This year, I’m going to love the hell out of anyone who needs it.
This year, I’m going to lean into the man who has embraced ALL of me, and offered me a future.
This year, I’m going to say his name, watch the memorial video and then roll over to snuggle my Sexxy Chef and get some sleep because I have to go back to work tomorrow.
I miss him, terribly.
Mark W. Smith
May 18, 1963 – June 26, 2012