Friday, February 14, 2014

Grief: It Can't Be Valentine's Day Again

It's been almost a month since I've written a blog post.  It feels very unfair. I miss writing to you.  You are all very important to me and I need to be attentive to you.  My Facebook page Grief Speaks Out is taking up a lot of my time.  I answer everyone who posts as well as posting myself every day.  I never said when I was a little girl that when I grew up I wanted to be someone who made herself available to other grieving people and yet that is what happened.  Of course, without my special Valentine, as always, my husband Artie, I wouldn't be grieving and I wouldn't think that the way to give meaning to that and to my life is to write this blog and do the Facebook page.  I am so grateful for him in so many ways.  I love him more every day and I continue to learn from him.  That is why I am so determined to believe that he is proud of me - caring for me - and waiting - as I am for the day when we can both be in the same form.

This is my day to be depressed and sad.  I am.  And I'm not.  I was supposed to fly to Tucson yesterday with my daughter and granddaughter.  We were one of the people whose flight got cancelled.  6500 flights got cancelled.  It occurred to me that at least I wasn't on the way to be reunited with someone I love.  Not spending Valentine's Day with my husband and yet with my husband is the way it is now.  All flights are permanently cancelled to where he is...until the day when they aren't any more.  It as though he can come be with me but being earthbound I don't know how to be where he is.  Which, I suppose is good.  It's not my time yet.  I know that.

Before I came to stay with my daughter and granddaughter I went to the drugstore to pick up some things.  I bought little Gwendy a pink elephant with pink hearts on its white elephant ears and pink hearts on its white elephant tail.  Artie would have loved it.  Perhaps he does.  I couldn't have done that even last year.  I walk through Feb. with my eyes closed.  Feb. 3rd was my birthday/wedding anniversary.  Someone dear to my heart reminded me to celebrate on that day how lucky I am to have the love I have with Artie.  It's not easy to celebrate a day when you want so badly for someone to be alive and they are not.  I did try though - to remember so many good times.  I tried to remember that the kind of love we have is what a lot of people hope for and dream of.  I am just tired of being in love with someone who is dead.  Well - that popped out honest!  The only thing is - I feel married to him still.  I was reading a book about someone knowing someone was lying about their husband being dead because they weren't wearing his wedding ring along with theirs - as is the tradition.  I wear Artie's wedding ring (he had been married before but never wore a wedding ring before) which says Artie loves Jan loves Artie loves Jan in a perfect circle inside the band - and mine.  I didn't know it was a tradition.

I had my eyes closed so well  - not to see the hearts and flowers - not to hear all the stories about people who are happily married or in happy relationships - or finding someone new - that I didn't know how long it had been since I had written a blog post.  This is my year of being numb; of running away from waking up every morning knowing my husband has gone away - not willingly - but still away.  Oh - we hold on to each other still.  I believe that.  I feel that.

I have a phone call with a trusted friend who does medium work only for me and few others - as her life is more devoted to spiritual teaching and practice.  I do this only once a year.  In the phone call Artie told me if I need arms to hold me and a body I should find someone living to be with.  That we will always be together and what I need for comfort and happiness in this life cannot break our love or that holding on.  Then later when I was walking down the street I heard tell me that he only said that because he knew that was what he was supposed to say.  He was ashamed to say in front my friend that he wanted me still all to himself.  He wanted me to be faithful to him always.  It made me laugh because it came through like a little boy confessing to stealing a piece of pie.  He is supposed to be more evolved now...and when it comes to me - isn't.  Did I make all that up because it is what I want to hear.  I don't know.  Many people believe in these things.  I just saw that they are even called ADC - after death communications.

It doesn't really matter if it is real or not - it is how I feel in my heart.  I don't mind living in the question.  I will find out when I die myself - or not.

But this year my Valentine is a little girl who I gave a pink elephant to - who says, "I love you, Gammy."  Who wants to play with me.  Who I never want to hurt by not coming back...even though some day I will be the one who won't be able to come back.

When our flight was cancelled my daughter said it was the Valentine's Day curse.  She isn't kidding.  She has been dumped on Valentine's Day.  She is a woodworker and severed her thumb on Valentine's Day (it was reattached but she doesn't have a joint in it).  She talked today about missing her best friend Jon who died of cancer when he was only 36.  He understood the Valentine's Day curse and didn't try to cheer up.  He'd say, "Stay in bed!!  Don't go out!!"

That's what we miss. Those people who understood/understand us so well.  The shared history.  I can have a wonderful new relationship - maybe - with another man - but what I want is my old relationship.  I can't have a 23 year old journey of private jokes and little and big understandings and misunderstandings both.

A lot of people share their story on Grief Speaks Out (the Facebook page).  This is true of any death.  A grandparent, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a friend, especially a child, a grandchild. I've left out pets and aunts and uncles so - whoever I've left out - please forgive me.   We miss them and the special role they play in our life.  We miss THEM.  I don't understand what is so confusing about that to people who ask us to move on or get over it.  It is normal and right to miss someone and long for them when they have been - are - such an important part of who we are.

However, life does go on.  A little girl who got a pink elephant today just opened my door to say, "I went swimming all by myself!"  If I had killed myself when Artie died as I thought I should - to get to him sooner I would have missed so much.

So...I hope this Valentine's Day you have time to spend with memory and story and thoughts and wishes about your beloved dead.  It is okay to be sad and lonely.  But I hope also that you have some life waiting for you somewhere.  If you don't yet...I didn't for a long a while...that you may find some or some will find you.

I hope I start to write blog posts more often again.  i miss you.  I love you.  I even trust you enough not to proofread this so I can go play.  I never thought I would be willing to play on dreaded Valentine's Day.  Maybe it's time to open my eyes more often - to see what there is to see.  I can always close them again when I want to.  With much love. xo


  1. hi Jan....yes, we were missing you Want to put this right,.....this blog sounds like you are making alot of progress towards enjoying whatever life still has to offer you.

  2. Will follow you here and on Facebook too.