"The FH would have been 78 today" but I am not one for making too big a deal out of it now. That's why that remark is in quotation marks, because I haven't been going round, saying it to all and sundry. I have remarked on my FB page that yes, it is the anniversary of his birthday, and I have sort-of indicated that this is the last time I will mark it on there, as I have further commented that I am sure he would be pleased with how we are getting on with our lives, as he wanted us to do. We cannot live with one foot in the past, and we must look to the future. He would not have wanted us to spend our lives in his shadow.
(image from sugarshack.co.uk)
He did love Maltesers!
He has been gone for nearly 18 months now, and we are getting used to the new life that we have. The girls are both doing well in their studies, if not entirely with their friends [EFG hassles over flatmates, etc] and they have good heads on their shoulders. They are reliable, sensible, focused, level-headed most of the time, and quite mature for their ages - although I still can't get to grips with the EFG being 20 next birthday...how did that happen?! The YFG and I have talked again lately about a dog becoming part of our lives. That is about us moving on.
The FH's sister has emailed me to say that she will be ringing me today. She deals with grief and loss in a very different way, and always wanted to speak to him on their mother's birthday, for example. I do get it - it is about connecting with someone else who remembers the person who has died, and having shared space for memories. I'll gladly speak with her, even though I would be happy to chat with her any day of the year - she need not wait for his birthday.
There are thousands of ways to express grief, and I have been touched lately by some unhelpful posts on FB, which were absolutely well-intentioned, but just not right for me. They were largely of the "it's OK to be in pieces because grieving deeply means that you loved deeply". Right. So not being in pieces all the time means I didn't love him enough? The people posting those thoughts, and the ones sharing them, perhaps haven't grieved an awful lot in their lives, or perhaps they have, but only in one way. Their way is not my way, which is not your way, widows and widowers of the world.
Every single one of us does this our own unique way, and every way is right. Every way is true and deeply felt.
I went to a meeting last week for people who had lost their partners through bereavement. It was part of my work in the circuit, but it worked as I fitted in as a widow. Let me tell you, there was a spirit of joy and warmth in that room as about 45 people came together in fellowship and shared community. I am going to work on setting up other groups like that in other areas of the circuit because we are sure that there is a need.
I know other widows read my ramblings here, and I just want to let you know that you just need to do whatever you need to do to get through it. There is no right way. No wrong way. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for doing this your way. I'm doing it my way. God bless us all x