It’s been two and a half years since I became a widow. I still grieve. I always will.
That’s not to say that my life has stopped. I have friends, I keep busy; I’ve even dated a little. My life has moved on, and I look forward more than I look back. Still, Rick remains a presence. I miss the little things, like being handed a cup of coffee every morning. Mostly what I miss is knowing there was that one person who really, truly cared about me. I miss him.
That entire first year, my grief was immersive and all-encompassing, infusing every facet of my life. As simple an act as buying groceries became a harsh reminder of what had happened. Every day was a series of events with the same theme: look, you’re alone now, what you had is irretrievably gone.
Time heals. I became used to buying only the groceries I wanted. I created new rituals for mornings and evenings, and the silence at home no longer bothered me. The 2nd bedroom has almost completed its transition from his studio and office to my work room. I’m now comfortable removing items of his that have no use or value for me.
Yet, he stays with me, each and every day. I talk with him as I walk to work. I daydream about a world where everything turned out differently, and we are planning a celebration of our 10th wedding anniversary. I still question how much he knew, what he choose to keep from me, and why.
This is what grief is after two and a half years. It recedes into the background, but it does not disappear. I am a widow. That term is a description of what I have been through and what I carry forward. Grief doesn’t end; it doesn’t fade away, or wash off. It has become a part of me on a molecular level, the same as the tattoo I had done in his memory. The person I am now and will forever be is that person because of what I have gone through. That is what I mean when I say that grief never ends.