About Me

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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Can Get Some Satisfaction

Ken taught me a lot about satisfaction, in so many ways, many of them I am realizing now, while I couldn't while he lived. Nice, right? It took the death of my most excellent husband to teach me something about true satisfaction.

While he was alive, by my side, I didn't need to care so much about satisfaction. He had enough for both of us and everyone around him. I was "content" to be the one who always wondered if I was meeting my potential, doing enough, accomplishing enough. I was often filled with doubt about my purpose. I flustered easily, got excited about what was happening around me. Sometimes the excitement was positive and vibrant, sometimes it was just nervous, scattered, wasted energy. I was always scanning the horizon for the next event, opportunity, crisis. I was alert, ready, prepared, on the lookout for potential trouble. My to-do list bossed me around. I was on time. Not late. Punctual. On deadline. I was seeking the next moment instead of enjoying the one that was before me. Trying to be perfect, and failing perfectly at that.

Ken's stillness, his calm was always present for me. All he had to do was put his hand on mine and I'd get that transfer of warm, steady, calm energy. No matter what he was doing, the task was right. On the phone for an hour with Apple Computer? Why not. Has to be done. Balancing the Quicken account? Deeply satisfying. After all, it's a life task that needs doing. Children fussy for hours on end? Why not? That's what children do sometimes and that's why parents are there, to absorb and deflect. He was like a worry stone for me...make a connection with him and my blood pressure would plummet, heart rate decrease, perspective widen.

Ken lived in his own time zone, a mysterious, calm, cool, rock of assuredness and understanding. In Ken's world, all was as it should be. Things were meant to be understood, not judged. He could get an angry note from his boss ALL IN CAPS and shrug his shoulders. He could run late without sweating. At his memorial service, a friend told a story of sailing on Lake Michigan with Ken in a sudden squall. One of the passengers fell off the boat and as the distance grew between them, Ken surveying the surroundings said, "Wow, it's really windy out here," while turning the boat to retrieve her.

Today I'm the one in the water. Ken is gone, years now. Fortunately, at the moment, I'm not in cold, windy Lake Michigan. I'm alone in a warm Caribbean sea, all by myself, floating way out from the beach. No one knows I'm here but me. The water is clear and body temperature. I want to share this peace the way Ken shared his with me. But it's quiet out here and I'm all by myself. I can't see anyone. I splash every now and again enjoying how it feels and sounds. I'm sending out ripples.


Mary said...

Wow. Just, "wow".

Jill Schacter said...

Thanks Mary!

Anonymous said...

Auntie Jill,
You take my breath away.
I love you so much.

lynne Jordan said...

the ripples... the calm... the water... the love of your most wonerful husband. simply gorgeous Jill!