First month: Shock
They told me Nelson died. But I didn't feel sad, angry, or anything. I actually felt joyful that my husband was in heaven and no longer in pain. Why were others so sad?
Second month: Denial
Nelson's presence was still close. There were many coincidences that proved my husband had not left. I denied my grief and was comforted by dreams that he was still with me.
Third month: Instant Gratification (Out of control!)
Drinking, eating, gambling, shopping, and traveling. Within a couple weeks, I was into a pattern of habits that I couldn't stop.
(excerpt from my book)
"If I stay as close to the Lord, like I am now," I confidently told my friend, Lynette, "then I'll never feel any grief from my husband's death." I stirred my Margarita then swigged down the last gulp.
"It doesn't work that way." Lynette adjusted her kitchen blinds to block out the early evening sun. "You're still in shock. But once you get back home, the pain will come."
"We'll see." I didn't want to argue. "I think I'll have one more drink before we go out to eat."
Forth month: Guilt (Coming out of the fog)
Why didn't I call the doctor sooner. Doesn't matter. My husband is not coming back. I'm the only parent. What was I modeling? How could I be so selfish and neglect my children?
Fifth month: PAIN (My broken heart!)
Unbearable and excruciating pain. A knife stabbing my heart. Relentless nights of weeping to God. As the pain released, I felt God's comfort. Only God's love could mend my broken heart.
Sixth month: Depression (Letting go)
It was October, a change of season, and the holidays were approaching. I started cleaning out my husband's closets. I gave his favorite leather jacket to his best friend. I cried.
Seventh month: Disorientation (Past or present?)
Sometimes I wanted to go back. I wanted to cry and live in past memories. A familiar place. But my children lived in the present and my friends encouraged me to keep going forward.
Eigth month: Revelation (Acceptance)
My first holiday season consisted of visiting numerous family and friends from all time periods of my life. This revealed that Nelson was not my entire past, only part of it.
Ninth month: Comforting moments
The pain came and went. Moments of joy between moments of pain. We made new memories over the holidays by allowing our family and friends to share our pain and fill us with love.
Tenth month: What do I do now? (My future?)
Should I move closer to my sister and parents? But professionals say, don't make any big changes for at least a year. I better wait a few more months. I just don't have a clue as to what to do.
Eleventh month: Finding fun and socializing
It was time to go out and dance again. It was time to meet new people. I needed to feel alive again.
Twelth month: Time to reminisce
I spent the anniversary of my husband's death with friends. We all went out and celebrated Nelson's life. We all shared our best stories of the best memories we had of this wonderful man!