Sunday, March 17, 2013

3 Years

Normally on each anniversary I pen a letter to Craig here on my blog, filling him on on what he has missed, what I want to tell him. Somehow I imagine these letters floating about in cyberspace, making their way to him by osmosis. I talk to Craig every day, but I like the ritual of summarizing my year for him on such an important date.

I've been crafting this year's letter in my head for a few weeks now.

Sadly, I didn't quite get to positing it yesterday. Not because I didn't have time or because I didn't want to. For some reason, this year above any other, I was sucker-punched by the anniversary. I spent most of the day trying to distract myself, trying to hold it together, trying to forget who I was, what had happened. Sometimes the anticipation of these big days can build and build, weighted with expectation, dragging you further into grief.

This year I felt especially isolated, particularly alone.

I had expectations about being three years out, I think. Ridiculous ones.

That, by this point, I would be fine, I would be ok, I would be better. As if "better" somehow has any meaning.

Except... I'm not fine, I'm not ok, I'm not really better.

By that I mean, I still feel every inch a widow. I still walk around, carrying it with me every day. I still feel that grief and that loss all the time. I still miss him, I still talk to him, I still wish he was here.

It still catches in my throat and breaks my heart.

I still feel that pinch in my chest and have to look away to swallow back tears.

I still feel the taint of death on my life.

I was asked yesterday if I had any peace over what happened. My answer?


I don't think that peace is possible. Peace implies some sort of acceptance. A sense of calm or ease with how things are.

Rather, I think I have, like the countless widows before me, found a way to live with the grief. It is my constant companion. I carry it with me because I never stop being aware of that loss. I function, I go to work, I live my life. I even have joy. But I still have the grief with me.

This is not a matter of choice.

Grief and loss shapes us. We can't help but have that nagging feeling something is missing. Imagine you are piling your family into the car before a long road trip but you left little Johnny at the kitchen table - instently you can feel that disorientation because someone is missing, that you are forgetting something very important.

That is how it has felt, every day, for 3 years.

So, because of this, my 3 year letter will be a little shorter than others:

Dear Craig,

I still love you. I still miss you. I'm still waiting.

Your Emily