As I referenced before, somewhere along this journey someone said to me, “You have a 100% success rate for getting through rough days.” It’s true! I wish I could say, “Every day above ground is a good one,” but the reality is, there continue to be some tough times.
Again, I’m not looking for sympathy or having my own personal pity party, although at times it’s tempting, but I really don’t have the patience with myself for that anymore. The reality is, rough days still happen, but now, nearly 3 1/2 years post loss, I find myself just powering through them.
When I started writing this entry, it was the 4th of July. That was always “our holiday”. Why? Because July 6th is our wedding anniversary. We always joked that it was so nice for people to put on such a great party for us each year. That first 4th of July is when we had our bachelor/bachelorette parties. Every year thereafter, we’d go to the festival uptown and to “our spot” for fireworks, usually joining up with the rest of my family. Up until Mom died, four years ago today, we always had family come home for the 4th as part of their summer vacation. Always a good time.
There are so many events that are still difficult, even this far out. I was naive in thinking that this year’s anniversary would be easier, since I’d made it through what would have been our 25th last year. This year, I decided it would be a regular day and went to work, per usual. But as 10:00 came near, my mind couldn’t help but remember our wedding day. I made it through, of course, but it still was rough.
Facebook can be particularly rough. Again, let me repeat: I’m not looking for sympathy or pity, this is just the way it is. Seeing everyone’s photos surrounded by family, out with friends, enjoying grandkids, going on vacation…. are all difficult for those who are alone, and for those who are faced with rebuilding their lives. When you’re widowed in middle age, there just aren’t too many to share the journey. You watch your friends celebrate anniversaries you’ll never have. It’s tough. You see vacation photos and wonder if you’ll ever have that kind of fun again, and you see family photos and wish you had family closer.
Tough times happen. It’s part of the journey. Some months are rougher than others. July is particularly rough for me, even this far out. Part of me is ready for new things and new adventures, and the other part can’t help but think that he should be here. It’s a double-edged sword.
Tough times, rip tides, landmines, whatever you call them, they still come out of nowhere at times. They can still knock the breath out of you, but thankfully, although still intense, they don’t last as long as they used to. And it’s not long before you’re refocused on the future again. Maybe those vacations will happen some day. Maybe some day there will be someone to have fun with again. And maybe some day July won’t be as painful, but just a month to look back at past events and be grateful that they happened.