We Carry On – One Year Later…

Harlow (72)

It is difficult to wrap my head around the fact that today marks one year that our family patriarch passed away –

I am choosing to not mark this day as the “anniversary” of Steve’s death, but I will celebrate Steve’s “angelversary”!, the day he gained his wings!!!  I can only imagine the look on his face when he realized that he had WINGS!!!  I’m certain he is loving the ability to fly around and check in on all of his loved ones, making sure that everyone is alright.  Together as a family we will celebrate the fact that through courage, strength, and love we have continued to live our lives as Steve would have wanted.  He will be forever in our hearts and our memories.  We are going to spend today together, as a family tucked away but together.

I wanted to make this an uplifting post, but I’m not going to hide behind my true feelings… this is my life for now while I heal ~  I cannot express to you the difficulty in this process and I don’t wish this upon any of you – so please bear with me as I share some thoughts I have gathered this past year…

Death is a part of life, but sudden death is a shock to the system. It can often plunge a person into a crisis state. It’s the suddenness of it that’s just overwhelming. We don’t have the resources to process sudden death…  For me, the shock is wearing off and I am feeling the full effect of Steve’s death.  The true realization that he is not coming home.  The true realization that I am going it alone in this brave new world of mine.

Thankfully, me and my family have been able to spent a lot of time together this past year…  We have hugged, reminisced, laughed and cried.  We have made a point to share our experiences; our grieving and our joys.  It is all part of our healing.  We have all experienced the innocence of our sweet Harlow asking “is Poppa going to come from the sunset to be with us?”, hearing Harlow let us know that “Poppa is in the sunset and he is okay”…  There is something here that we are experiencing through our youngest family member, you see children have a connection and understanding of the afterlife that we as adults do not.  It has been extremely enlightening for us all!

I found an AMAZING support group through Christina Rasmussen, author of Second Firsts.  I was able to meet up with a wonderful group of people also looking for healing in their lives.  One of the quotes from our bi-weekly video conferences (Coffee with Christina) was ” You can do the impossible because you have been through the unimaginable”!!  Consider if you will the power behind this statement… It truly carries me through many a day. When I feel like curling up in a ball and hiding in a corner, I am reminded that I CAN DO THIS!.  Through Christina I will embark on a journey from a world of loneliness and pain to one of possibilities and action!  I am looking forward to meeting Christina in person in at the One Fit Widow Adventure Weekend In Lake Tahoe.  I’m also looking forward to spending time with others that understand my current place in life.

I have learned a lot about myself; that I am NOT CRAZY I am grieving…  Life is not the same after loss.  I am not the same.  I will be okay, not the same but I’ll be okay.  I’m still trying to figure out who I am, but I know for sure that I have become a much more determined woman ~  I alone have my children and grandchildren depending on me to be the strength of the family; to make decisions that will affect them in the future.  I have become quite independent, determined to stand on my own; a challenge indeed since Steve was always so willing to take care me 🙂

The past year has also brought many new friends in to my life.  I am deeply grateful to have met these wonderful people that truly care about me and understand and accept my current place in life.  To my family and friends who have stuck by me this year, I thank you!  Thank you for listening, for checking in on me, for lifting me up, and for understanding when I needed to be alone.

Now comes the next challenge – the Second Firsts.  This year will be a year of discovery, how we process our new lives and the changed people that we have been forced to become.  Together I know that we will conquer this challenge ~ we have many hurdles yet to overcome, but I know that we can make it!

So, cheers to you Steve for gaining your wings… I know that you will continue to guide your family as we navigate this strange new world without your wit, intelligence, infectious smile, those BEAUTIFUL eyes and mostly your presence ♥

We celebrate you today… In MO-DER-A-TION 🙂 of course – 😉

 

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