I don't dwell on the past. I have done very well in fact letting the past go....or at least telling myself I have. I have learned to remember the good times, the wonderful times and the times we laughed and loved. On most days....I can think of Tim and feel happy and even be so very grateful that even though he wasn't in my life for the years I would have liked him to be.....I was just so fortunate to have had him in my life at all. Seldom do I fall into the trap that loss can wrap you in. I won't allow myself to wallow in "poor me" and I won't let others pity me either. I am certainly not the only one who has lost their spouse.......and of course, my kids will take their cues on how to handle loss by the example I set....right? Gosh I hope not.
They say that anger is one of the steps of grief. It took me years to get to the point of anger. I think the main reason for this was that I was not sure where to place the anger. I couldn't be mad at Tim because I knew he was the last one that wanted to leave this life when he did. I also didn't feel I could be mad at God because I know inside me that God does nothing without a purpose. Yes....even in losing the man I adored......there must be purpose. So where does the anger come in? Do I get pissed at a weak blood vessel? It was a no fault death and reality and common sense told me that nothing I or anyone else could have done that day could have saved him. He was gone before he hit the floor. Yes, the anger has been very hard to process.
Someone said to me once that they were in awe of how I handled it all. They told me that I had survived my trials and my loss with such grace and dignity. The word "strong" also came into the conversation. All I could think was, what a poker face I must have. If only they could see the inner me and what went on inside my head and my heart, they would be embarrassed for me at how pathetic and weak I really am. Any strength I have is nothing more than a facade. I have spent more time hiding inside myself and praying that God would give me the strength to keep going than anyone will ever know. Each time I sit alone in a hospital with David, face bills I can't pay or I find the world expecting me to move forward when I am literally frozen in place.....I am anything but strong, graceful or dignified.
Of late though, I seem to have found my anger. I think I have even found what I feel is the appropriate place to put it. I have found that I am not angry at anyone.....I am however extremely angry at circumstance. I am angry that the man who could make me angrier than just about anyone on the planet and then turn around and make me laugh was taken from me way too soon. I am angry that with him I lost a piece of me and who I am, so much joy and the promise of growing old with someone I loved. I am angry that the older kids lost their dad when they needed him most, that Z lost his hero and that David will never know the man who spent hours by his hospital bed literally willing him to live. I can't help but find myself furious at times that I am left to do it all alone which means when things go good.....the praise is all mine, but when things go bad.....then so is the blame. Trust me.....there is a lot more blame than praise in my life.
I can't help but feel great sadness that Tim was not here to see David surpass the doctors expectations time and time again. That he wasn't here to see Z perform in his first high school musical or watch him sing the first time on stage. I am sad that Tim is not here to see the wonderful woman his daughter has become and the men that Sean and Wes have become. He didn't get to become a grandpa and see his beautiful granddaughters, he didn't get to finish the degree he longed for and he didn't get to follow all the dreams he had for the future. Sad? Very. Angry? Yeah, I am a little of that too.
Then I remember.....Tim got to be a son. He got to be a brother, an uncle, a nephew and a cousin. He
Yes....even after twelve years....I can still find myself lost and very alone. You don't lose someone like Tim and find your way back easily. However....if I knew then, what I know now......I would do it all again in a heartbeat!