Time Frame > Beyond the First Year (1+ years)

Guess I've "Graduated" to This Group


This week, I reached the one year anniversary of my Kenneth's death.  I cannot believe it has been a year, and that I have reached this point.  I've been thinking about what I wanted my first post here to say, and I just haven't had the words.  Then, as I was going back to save posts from YWBB, I came across something I posted at six months, and I think this still greatly applies, so I am going to share a slightly edited version here:

I have finally made it through the shock of the first six months, and the reality of the second, and have now survived the first year. I am not really sure how I feel about that. On one hand, it feels like no time has passed at all. On the other hand, it feels like it has been a lifetime, since life was "normal", or at least what was normal for me.

In the last year, I have had to adjust to no longer being a constant caregiver, unable to leave my Kenneth alone, unsupervised. I no longer have to split my time between work and hospitals, or sit in the ER all night long and have to teach all day. I no longer have to manage medications, juggle doctor appointments, do wound care, coordinate trips to dialysis, or get up multiple times in the middle of the night with him. I am not hiding car keys and bank cards, anymore. I am not paying attention and looking for any of the many warning signs that would signal a need to call the ambulance. I don't have to leave my cell phone on every minute of the day, just in case of emergency, and I am not having to feed, bathe, and clothe him. I am not having to take him to the bathroom anymore, or transfer him in and out of the wheelchair. I also don't have to hear him cuss at me and the nurses and doctors, or watch him spend his life in confusion and in pain.

I miss being a wife. I miss having that one person, who was always there, to share my life with. I miss his smile, his laughter, his brown eyes. I miss his voice and hearing him say he loves me. I miss him.

In many ways, my life feels empty, now. My house is no longer a home, and I often just feel lost and alone.

But there are good things in my life, too. The kids are all healthy and doing alright. I can now go to church or out with friends and coworkers. I can leave the house to exercise, if I want to.

I have also met, and am seeing, an amazing, supportive man, who loves me dearly and who completely gets the widowed brain. His presence in my life is calm and reassuring. When I am with him, I feel a peace that I have never known. Everyone is completely supportive of my new relationship, and friends and coworkers comment that I look "lighter" and "happier" than they have seen me in a long time. There is happiness in my life, once again, or at least glimpses of it. There is hope, and a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel of despair.

I just have to wonder, though, if my words at six months still apply so aptly now, does that mean I am progressing, or does that mean I am stuck in limbo?  I still have both moments of despair and moments of hope, so I just don't know.

Icoxwell, I was only a caregiver for ten months but I remember having to be "ever vigilant" as well.  That picture you shared of Kenneth at beakfast after a hospital stay brought back memories of  the two of us doing the same- breakfast before heading "home". The security of home?
Welcome to the group. We never graduate, though, from this school- just gain more knowledge from each other. A pleasure having you as a classmate-

Thank you, Marian, for the warm welcome to this group.  We truly had a wonderful time, stopping for breakfast that day.

You are progressing, you have taken the waves if grief as they hit you and gotten back up to face another day. You continue to embrace all that is good in your life now while honoring Kenneth. There is no magic at one year but something worth acknowledging that you made it through a year of firsts.

Big hugs to you and wishing you peace in year 2.


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