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.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Little Ode to Death

Happiness is coming back to me. I trace its return to March of this year, four years and two months after Ken's death. Around that time, some of the heaviness of grief began to lift. (Not to get too weird on you, but shortly before this lighter me began to appear, I did have a moment when I felt and saw something that I took as Ken's spirit shimmering at the foot of my bed. Then there was a flash of light, and the shimmering human form disappeared with a flash past my bedroom window. The experience, in the moment, left me feeling awestruck.)

It's not like I ever completely lost the ability to be happy during his illness and since his death. Thankfully, I've always been able to find pieces of joy wherever I go. But, coming face to face with the prospect of losing Ken, and then meeting his death head-on and slogging through years of pain, have made a purer form of happiness available to me now. How can I describe it? How can it possibly make sense that I would be happier after the person who introduced me, finally, to the love I had longed for, was dead?

I wish I had possessed this form of happiness and contentment while he was alive. I think he had it all along. But me? What a dope. Until I understood that what we cherish most can be ripped away...can come to an end...WILL come to an end...I didn't get it and I worried and struggled more than I felt grateful. Never again, I say!

So, here's a little happy ode to death.
After you read mine, create your own!


Death is horrific, but:

-- once you've lived through it, there's not likely to be anything worse that you'll ever have to encounter

--life sure feels good when you consider that you could be lying in a hospital bed instead

--the best way to honor your loved one is to remember how much they'd rather be here and to show life the reverence they can no longer feel

--it's real and it hasn't come for me, yet

--I am a better, stronger, happier, healthier person because I let it wake me up from silly delusions of unimportant matters

--because of losing Ken, I have been enriched, and though I sometimes feel ashamed that it took his death to make me wiser and more content, I will not squander what I've learned


Lisa Taylor said...

Just a thought in response to
"...I sometimes feel ashamed that it took his death to make me wiser and more content, I will not squander what I've learned"

There seems to be a balance to everything, part plus, part minus.

My interpretation of what you said: Before, you had the luxury of letting unimportant things become magnified (minus) with the cushion of a truly amazing loved one (plus). Now, you have chosen to be wiser (plus) through pain (minus).

Rather than attaching the label of "shame" to any of this experience,
feel good that you have chosen to make a devastating experience positive.

In the words of my wonderful father (who lost my mother when she was 48), "I decided to thrive, not just survive."

Jill Schacter said...

Lisa, Thanks for your generous response. Who needs the shame?