It has been a while since I posted here – given Maureen passed both so very long ago and “just yesterday”. This last week, I passed 1,000 days since Maureen died from complications due to FTD.
I still have difficulty wrapping my head around how long it has been. However, when I close my eyes, I can still see her face and feel her nose touching mine as we kiss. I can look down and remember how her hand felt in mine like it was not that very long ago.
One of her favorite travel spots was Disneyland. She first went when she was 52 and loved it, so we took 3-day weekends most every year – sometimes with the kids and grandkids and sometimes just the two of us. Our last time was May 2018, well into FTD, so a very altered trip from our normal: later start and earlier stop, fewer rides and keeping them open air, lots of resting, sitting to listen to the street bands and to watch the parades, plenty of food and drink, keeping the restrooms handy, and smiling at the simple things together in the way we had always done that helped to drowned out the world around us.
I went back for the first time in 4 years this last holiday weekend – alone. I sauntered. I watched. I remembered, and I took Maureen with me. There were some teary moments, but some happy ones too.
The grieving is still there every day, but the suffering comes and goes. It is better than it was, but the “shifts” still occur:
- There are some moments that the tears just flow.
- There are some nights I cannot sleep thinking on all the what ifs.
- There are some days I cannot get motivated to do a single task.
- There are some weeks where I sacrifice my health by eating out and remaining sedentary.
I adjust and shift where I can:
- I go back to us dancing and still cry, but happily
- I turn on a couple songs that we used to help her drift to sleep, and I now do the same.
- I remind myself I am the steward of our home and let that responsibility push me
- I pack a meal and walk to some of our favorite picnic spots just to get out in the fresh air
Thank God for the wonderful moments we had and even created during her FTD.
For those starting the grief or in that period of anticipatory grief, it will get better. Please don’t let anybody tell you how long it should take – that is yours to decide. Maybe it will take at least a thousand days.
The grief may last your whole life as a part of who you are, but that does not mean you will not still make new and wonderful memories and find happiness amid the grief.
Best to you all.