Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Seven Year Itch

Monday, April 16, 2012
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Today is my 7th wedding anniversary.  This is the 4th one I’ve celebrated without Chris which means that I’ve now been a widow longer than I was a wife.  Check off another box on the list of milestones. 

My 1st wedding anniversary fell on Easter Sunday.  Holy week is the busiest time of year for church musicians.  We were literally at church for four days providing music for about 10 masses.  Then we hosted Easter dinner at our house.  Although we were deliriously tired, every chance I had, I giddily related to Chris what we were doing at the exact same time the year before.  

“At this time last year, we were taking pictures!” 

“You were conducting the choir right about now,” (he insisted on conducting even on his wedding day).

“This is the point when we were dancing to our first song!”

The next day, we left for Galena for a couple of days to celebrate.

On our 2nd anniversary, we ate at the French bistro where we went on our first date, the night we got engaged and every other special occasion in between.  I was six months pregnant with Ian so it was a pretty low key evening.  We were both sick on our 3rd anniversary so we postponed celebrating and I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember if we ever took a rain check.  Chris died three months before our 4th anniversary.  My thoughtful stepsister, who is also widowed and who coincidentally has the same wedding anniversary as me, took me to the French bistro so I wouldn’t be alone.  And, I’m about to make an embarrassing admission here, I also sent myself flowers as if they were from Chris.  Denial much?  I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you to hear that my 5th and 6th anniversaries were spent talking and crying to a patch of grass in a cemetery.

So, now I’m at year seven--the seven year itch.  I wonder how I would feel today if Chris were still alive.  Would today be just like any other day?  After seven years, would this day still have felt special?  Would I look at the clock throughout the day and recall what I was doing seven years prior?  Or would I have gone through my day having to remind myself that it was my anniversary.  Without him here, I certainly am experiencing the seven year itch.

I’m itching to make a plan for celebrating tonight, itching to see if Chris would have sent me orange roses, as he often did, itching to hold his hand and tell him how glad I am that I married him on a that unseasonably warm day in 2005.  I’m itching to have him look at me with the intensity he did while saying our vows and itching to feel that warm security that comes from being snuggled up to the love of your life.  I’m itching to be his wife.

I guess I’ll just scratch a little here and there today as I look through our wedding album and try to get to the cemetery.  Thankfully, I’ll be with other widowed people tonight.  As we know, that is the best salve for this type of itch.


That was breath taking. I am sorry I can not see you at the CW east, but now that I am finished with my harder classes I would really like to visit with you and Laura in Chicago.

Ok, why was I reading this and my eyes begin to fill with tears. And me blinking faster so they won't fall, yet still trying to read through the blur. I am not a widow nor can I even imagine the thought of such a loss. I do know with losing someone you love, the pain does not completely go away, however time will make it not hurt so bad. I say find the comfort needed through the photos that hold on to the memories captured. Find strength through the legacy left behind with his children... Find encouragement and support through friends and love ones who understand the emotions this day brings about...Big hugs on your anniversary as well as happy heavenly anniversary to Chris....

Thanks so much Wendy for sharing your thoughts and feelings! "itching to feel that warm security that comes from being snuggled up to the love of your life" is my favorite line, makes me mushy...

Today is my 7th anniversary. My husband died a month before our 4th, so like you, I have officially had more anniversaries without him than with him. It hurts. It hurts a lot. Sadly, there isn't anyone to celebrate the day with me. My best friend just got married--and likely doesn't know what today is--so I don't want to take her away from her new husband. And that means watching wedding videos and looking at photos in my PJs. And crying. A lot. Anyhow, it made me smile to read your account because I could have written it myself. I hope that you managed through your anniversary OK. And thank you for sharing the story--it's helped me to make it through my day. God bless.

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