Author Topic: The Ritual  (Read 582 times)


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The Ritual
« on: October 13, 2017, 10:42:47 PM »
I am now 1 year and 3 months out from losing my husband. There are many things I remember in fine detail and others have become blurred memories. Probably for the best to be honest. I do remember early on reading stories from other widows brought me comfort. Sometimes it was just an assurance that I wasn't going crazy or having somebody I could relate to. I'm not sure how I can help others but I want to. I am by no means Out of the Woods but I am not as lost as I was those first few months. So I figured I'd try to share a story that maybe others could relate to.

One of the things I remember from early on that kept me afloat was rituals. Things that were so innately a part of my day that I could have done them in my sleep. Things that required simple steps that I knew so well that deep down I just didn't need to think about it in order to do them. Because early on I couldn't think about anything. So I clung to rituals like a life raft.

The most distinct one I can remember was making coffee. My husband loved coffee and actually got me into it. He did it the old fashion way. He would grind the coffee, boil the water and let it steep for the appropriate time before pressing it through and savoring that first cup in the morning, always making sure there was enough for me. I remember shortly after he died I used to hallucinate that I could hear the coffee grinder going off before I got out of bed. A sound I'd gotten so accustomed to hearinv when he was alive but now I never heard until I got up and did it myself.

My husband was meticulous about the length of time the coffee had to be steeped for. He knew the exact temperature it needed to be boiled at and he had taught me during our time together. So after he died it was one of the few things I could remember how to do.

I may not have been showering or remembering to eat but I remembered to make coffee every morning. I would run the instructions through my mind, hearing him telling me how to do it. Clinging to the memory of his voice as he instructed me on how to make the perfect cup. It was almost like a dance. Grind the beans, bring the water to a boil and take it off the heat for 30 seconds, pour over the grinds and steep it for the correct amount of time before pressing

A lot of the older widows on this website will tell you the same thing. Sometimes you will take it day by day. Some days you will take hour by hour. Some hours you will take minute by minute. And on those particularly bad days you will take it second-by-second.

Beyond that, I would also suggest if there are any rituals that you have. Rituals that remind you of your life with your significant other. Rituals that make you feel human even for just a moment: cling to them. Feel proud you were able to go through the steps of Being Human for those few minutes no matter what it might be.

Making that morning coffee is still a ritual that I hold dear. However it is no longer just about clinging to the memory or surviving. I truly savor the moments of putting that coffee together. How it is now my ritual. How I've been able to incorporate some wonderful things my husband brought to my life into this new life I now have to live. So now I sit by the window of my kitchen in the morning sun and I'm able to smile. Not every day but most days thanks to the sweet little rituals that make my life my own.

I hope you are able to find yours.




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Re: The Ritual
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2017, 01:30:26 AM »
Thank you KK. That was beautiful!
 Around your coffee thoughts, my DH was an early riser and used to bring me a cup of coffee in bed every morning.
I miss him so much!
I don't want it to be his legacy that his death destroyed me.
I need to honour his life by rebuilding my life.


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Re: The Ritual
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 07:28:18 AM »
beautiful words and wise advice...




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Re: The Ritual
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 11:33:49 AM »
I'm reading this beautiful post with my morning French press. Our loved ones infuse our lives in so many big and small ways, and offer a way to stay connected to them. Thank you for this wonderful reminder.


P.S. What is the precise optimal steeping time?


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Re: The Ritual
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 10:12:22 PM »
@Abitlost, I still find there's a bit of debate about that but my husband was a strong coffee drinker and I personally found his steeping time the best. 2 minutes after pouring the water over the grinds you would always break the crust and makes it just a few times so that it's steeped a little better and then let it sit for another 5 minutes. I don't think this method is traditional by any means but I tell you nobody make coffee better than him and his friends and family would attest to that. Mind you he was also meticulous about the type of beans and how fresh they had to be.