Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear Ron...

Dear Ron,

It’s been three weeks. THREE! I still can’t believe you’re actually gone. You left me so quickly; why didn’t you warn me? I’m jealous that Chuck got to talk to you last (I know that’s unreasonable). I wish you had called me to tell me good night – or that I had called you. I knew that our time together was short and wondered if you knew it too. I didn’t want you to die. I didn’t want you to sign a DNR if that’s not what you wanted. I know your last few years were really tough on you, and tough on me. I know you were sorry that you put me through so much. I’m sorry I was selfish through many of your trials. I’m sorry I wasn’t more patient and understanding. Was God using you to teach me something? I hope I learned it and that is what ended your suffering. I’m so, so sorry that you went through so many things. If I had insisted they keep working on you, would it have made a difference? Or, would it have meant that you’d have been tied to a machine? Neither of us wanted that for the other. I know you would not have wanted to spend your last days hooked up to machinery. Letting go was so hard but I knew it was the best for you. You would have done the same for me.

Your last few months were the worst for you. I wish I had been able to just suck it up and continue to take care of you at home. I’m not sure how much of it was selfishness on my part and how much was really my physical and emotional limitations. I worried about you constantly when you were home alone. Were you on the floor, did you have a medical emergency, did you eat, etc. Working so far from home and not being able to reach you some days really made my entire day so stressful. I remember one time when we lived in Derby and I called you on my way home from work. I was going to Wal-Mart but you sounded so groggy on the phone that I knew I needed to go home instead. I kept hollering your name all the way and all I could hear was the TV in the background. That was the longest 15 miles ever. I found you passed out on the bed with a blood sugar of 27. I’m nearly certain that if I hadn’t called you and come home, you would have died then. I would have felt so guilty for going shopping instead of coming home first.

It’s very hard being in the “W” club. No one wants to be a member of that club. I’ve had a few other club members reach out to me for when I need to talk. So far, I’ve only taken the step to talk to one... my cousin. Her husband died suddenly about six years ago. She still misses her husband. She said everyone is different; maybe since you were sick for so long my grieving has already gone through a few stages. I don’t know. I still cry pretty easily at some memories and situations. I still miss your physical presence. I know that with all of your health issues we had discussed we didn’t have the same kind of marriage that we once had. The love was still there, but the focus was changed. We didn’t focus on the physical aspect of a relationship, but the emotional and companionship of one. Even when I was frustrated with the physical changes going on in your body, I still loved your physical presence. We could sit for hours – you sleeping (off and on) and me reading – and enjoy each other’s company.

Today, I can write all this down without getting too emotional. Yesterday, I could not have. I was pretty much worthless all day yesterday, starting the day with a roaring migraine. I am not very good at this “widow” thing. Don’t like it one bit. I bought a book on Amazon written by a widow for widows. It was pretty short and not very in-depth. One of the constant themes of the widows whose words were in this book (several “club members” were contributors to the book) was how many people just don’t know what to say, so they show up with casseroles or whatever. That’s very true... most of the people I come into contact with every day have totally avoided mentioning you or asking how I am. I think they’re afraid of the answer or the reaction. (LOL – they haven’t shown up with casseroles, either. But that’s OK – not sure what I’d do with a casserole anyway.) Three days of bereavement for you was not enough, so I took four days of vacation, too. That still wasn’t enough but I had to come back to work. The one big thing I got from the book was that I’m not crazy. I can have these emotions and be perfectly normal. I can get emotional at anything my body determines is realistic. I can also be perfectly calm at seemingly unreasonable situations. Not sure why but I’m trying to just go with it. I will grieve in my own way, at my own pace, and heal at a pace that is right for me. There’s no expiration date on grief and no time stamp on healing.

I will miss you forever. I will love you always. I cherish the memories of the really great times and my last vision of you smiling at me from your chair as I said good-night. Your smile was contagious and always showed how much love was in your heart.


joanne said...

beautiful words straight from the heart

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Seems to me that laughing and crying a little every day for Ron is perfectly reasonable. My friend Alice's husband died about a month ago and she told me last week she's progressed to the anger stage where she's mad he left her. Grief is such a process, but there's no "right" way to do it. Just keep finding those people who love you and support you through it!

vaspillman said...

Hi Teresa...came by your blog to see how you are doing. Its good that you have been able to write out some of your feelings. One thing for sure, through the thick and thin, the love between you both was pretty awesome. Though he is gone now, you two had something few ever have...which is wonderful! I am happy that you knew what it is to be truly loved, and I am sad for you because I know he will be dearly missed...for a long time to come. Please know we are praying for you, and thinking of you often. I was thinking about you and Ron when I went to see the movie Heaven is for real...I know Ron is there and he is not suffering, and is cheering you on until he sees you again. He is young again, in no pain, and will be there to greet you when you arrive... One day your mourning will turn to will take time...just know you were a great wife, and though he is gone his love for you is still all around. Big hug, V.

caterpillar said...

Hi Teresa, I just read about Ron, please accept my heartfelt condolences. I hope you are taking care of yourself.