- Jill Schacter
- My wonderful husband died when I was 44 years old. Being widowed this young happens to less than 3% of married people. Writing through this loss one word at time helps me understand what I've lost and helps me continue to grow. It is how I have gradually recovered from such a severe loss. Research shows that you can benefit from taking just 15 minutes a day to write out your deepest feelings as a way of healing. On the right side of this blog, you'll see a tag for Exercises to Try. If you need some help knowing how to use writing to help heal yourself, I suggest you start there.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I'd say this Father's Day felt a lot better than the last two we spent without Ken. I didn't feel the need to engineer the perfect day designed to both honor Ken and minimize our own awkward or despairing feelings. I didn't do anything to distract us from the subject at hand: father's day without a father. I let the day be.
We went to the pool with friends. Invited Ken's parents over for a really nice dinner. And we decided we would try to behave as Ken almost always did...by being calm and understanding at all times. I'm not sure we succeeded in that, but what was I thinking? Ken's understanding, calm nature was to my mind what set him apart. He was dazzlingly calm. Blow me away calm. Impossibly calm. How could anyone replicate that? But somehow we were happy today. Progress has been made.
Two and a half years after Ken's death, I still live with his loss every day. It continues to define me. And it continues to shape me and change me into someone new, someone I wasn't before he left. I don't know myself as well anymore. So I've learned by living it that a loss this big somehow rearranges your whole sense of self and of the world. What I feel most often now is how everything is different, different than it was before. And I am different too. Atomically blown apart and rearranged and still settling.
I now know that Ken is gone. I believe it. And it's taken me this long.
Natalie said a few days ago: "I can't believe it's only been 2 and a half years. It feels like forever." And Alec said today, "I can't imagine what it would be like to have two parents."
Funny enough, I can take these sad statements and see them as positive. The kids are adjusting. They are resettling too.
We've survived another Father's Day.
We've survived. Period.