Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Thinking of Him

Monday, July 30, 2012
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Today we welcome guest blogger, Jane. Thanks for your contribution!

Jane lives in Oak Park and is a full-time worker bee downtown. Her husband and best friend, Jim, was 49 when he died from a ruptured aneurysm on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2008. Forty-three at the time, Jane found support for her grief in therapy and peer support. She was also treated for post traumatic stress, which manifests itself in an unknown percentage of widows and widowers. Today, Jane lives in gratitude for her community of friends and family, especially her two stepchildren, who will forever be her husband’s greatest gifts.

I noticed something peculiar about my widowed self recently. Somewhere deep inside, something had shifted.  I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened. There wasn’t an “aha” moment. Yet at some point, it occurred to me that I no longer think of my husband every single day. Most days, yes, I think of him. But not every day. In an ironic twist, this realization came to me while I was, in fact, thinking about my husband. And it was somewhat shocking. I mean, I’ve spent the better part of three years thinking about him. Missing him. Loving him. Feeling his energy. Talking about him. And learning how to live without him.

It used to be that thinking about my husband was a focal point of my existence. In the beginning, of course, it was all I did. I’d wake up, try to get through the day, and fall asleep with him on my mind. I couldn’t help it. He was all I could think about. But it’s different now.

Three and a half years later, there are people in my life who didn’t know my husband. Some may not know that I had a husband, or that he died, until I tell them so. Still, there are constant reminders of my wonderful Jim. I live in the same house. I sleep in our bed. There are pictures of him scattered about. I see him in the faces and mannerisms of his children. We talk about him often and with lots of love. So how can a day go by without me thinking of him? Is this a manifestation of the healing process? Is it something else? Should I feel guilty?   

I can’t answer these questions any more than I can say why Jim died prematurely. My hunch is that this is another leg in the journey. It doesn’t mean I’ll forget him. That will never happen. Actually, I’m thinking of him now. And I’m grateful. 


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