Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Widow's Commemoration

I would imagine that most widows dread the anniversary day of their husbands death. Especially the first year. Kind of like a holiday or birthday, it's a BIG one. As the day approached for me, I contemplated what to do. It felt too big of a day NOT to talk about it. But who would really bring the subject up?  I realized that I would have to make the effort to talk or suffer alone in silence.

"I'll invite our friends to go out on the thirteenth, in memory of Nelson. Why ignore the day? It would just make the pain worse. This way, we can be together to comfort each other." For our night out, my friends and I went to a neighborhood pizzeria. It was four couples and myself, which accentuated Nelson's absence all the more. Our evening consisted of sharing our memories of Nelson.

The evening seemed healing for not only me but my friends, too. Not one of us had wanted Nelson to die. He was a wonderful person. We all had funny memorable stories to share. We laughed together and I felt a sense of joy to have these wonderful friends in my life. I bought a round of drinks and toasted to everyone's glass, "I couldn't have done it without each and every one of you this past year."

I felt Nelson was close by. I wondered if our feelings and soul could connect to the spiritual world. Or did I just want him here so badly? I knew I wouldn't know that answer until I died. So for now, I decided to enjoy the relationships of family and friends that were presently in my life. And this special night would become a new memory. A memory of how much my friends loved me.

"Cindy, these are for you." Sal handed me a bouquet of roses. "Nelson would have bought them for you." Tears filled my eyes. "All of you are so sweet. I couldn't have made it through this day without your company." And to this day, many years later, I have memories of that evening. Of the first anniversary of my former husband's passing. Memories that are so sweet. Good memories.

There are other ways to commemorate. Coming from another widow's blog, Heatache to Healing, read Joanne's post, "As Time Goes By - Celebrate and Remember". She begins; Do you remember the song “As Time Goes By?” it was made famous in the movie “Casablanca” and hundreds of artists have performed it over the years. Time going by is a fact of life and yet when you are grieving the loss of a loved one time can feel as if it stopped.

So if you are contemplating what to do on that memorable day, I hope you don't suffer in silence. Call a friend and make a plan. Share stories of your loved one. Laugh, cry, and reminisce. You may find that you'll be making new memories, too. And it may help to soften the pain just a little more. "Cheers, to you and your support system that keep you going!"

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