Monday, September 8, 2008

It marchs forward

You know what, time doesn't heal, but it does march on. We can't stop it. We can't reverse it. And although Jim is not with us physically, one of my 'tools' has been to try to live for him, to experience things for him, and to tell him about them, by writing, by talking to him when I'm at home, even just in my head.

It doesn't always work; at times I feel so alone and sad I still think I might break, but sometimes I can see something, or hear something, or experience something, and know that he'd love it. With a friend the other day and to hear her say "Jim would have loved that" just made me so happy. To know that others think of him. I want to enjoy this life for me and for him, as much as I can, and until we can enjoy together whatever lies beyond, what awaits me and what he is already experiencing.

A friend sent me this -

As long as I can
I will look at this world
For both of us.
As long as I can
I will laugh with the birds,
I will sing with the flowers,
I will pray to the stars,
For both of us.

As long as I can
I will remember
How many things
On this earth
Were your joy,
and I will live
As well as you
Would want me to live
As long as I can.

Sascha Wintersun

I'm not sure about the 'as long as I can'. Somedays I have no desire to reach a ripe old age. Then that feeling passes, it becomes a feeling of not wanting to live but also not wanting to die. Maybe just not caring. I will try to do what it takes to get through the days, the months, the years, in as joyful a manner as I can; the good times can sometimes feel very good, perhaps because I have the troughs to compare them with, and they are almost always tinged with regret that he's not here to share them with me. But if that is my lot in life, then so be it. That is the bittersweet that has become life.

I would rather feel this pain now for the privilege of having him in my life for 18 years than never having known him. I will never be content with having lost him, but there is nothing I can do to change it, so I must learn to bend with the storms that his death has created in my life. I will also welcome the sunlight that is warms the days.

The white butterfly is my sign. I was told early on that the small white butterfly is your loved ones spirit and in times of need you will see it. Of course those butterfly's are all over the place, but I seem to see one just as I need it.

I know that Jim is still with me. No, I don't feel his presence like earlier, when I really needed it, I felt it then. But I do know that he and I are me. And this me wants to love life and has recognized that only I can do that. When I am smiling, I think of how he loved to see me smile, how he loved to make me laugh, and then he is a part of the moment. 15 months. Isn't it incredible? I can't believe that I have lived that long without him.

I write up a TO DO list - and say, what for? On the other hand, I have gotten to a place now where I find joy in marking off chores on the to do list.

When I feel the grief monster creeping in I try to count my current blessings and I think of all the wonderful times we had together. And then there are times when it passes thru that safety net and feel the lump in the chest. I go with it. I cry. And then, sometimes just a few minutes later, I breathe again and recount again. I find too that as sad as I get, I can look at a photo, think of him, look into his eyes and drew energy from that... and I let the grief pass thru my body and out my toes.

And that helps.


Sharon said...


It's hard to ever understand our purpose in life -- but your purpose with Jim physically here, is not the same as your present and future purpose.

I marvel at your grief journey, and am hopefully learning from it. Although it is nothing compared to your loss, I have had to re-orient my purpose in life both when I divorced years ago, and more recently when my children moved out of my home - I like someone's thought for that time as "open nesting" rather than empty nester.

My daughter and grandson just moved from this area - but still within the state. No more seeing them on a weekly basis.

Anyway, I continue to pray that the Lord will show you a step at a time, His love, mercy and grace in your life.

Rach said...

Oh, Betsy. I'm so sorry this is still so very hard and painful for you.

The poem was beautiful and I'm grateful those butterflies come to visit you just when you need them. For me, it's the little tree frogs that visit my front porch.

Big fat HUGS and tons of prayers for you.

Lynnbug said...

That is a beautiful poem and I am glad you shared it. I wish things were easier for you but you are right. It is better to have this grief than to have never known him and shared your life with him.