For years, I have heard that there are five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining (with whom? I don’t know. God?), depression, acceptance. And, well-meaning friends have reminded me to remember those stages as I go through this terrible time of loss. Others have told me it will take at least a year before I get better. I don’t agree. I don’t think there are “stages”. I will grieve the loss of Steve – forever. And, I don’t have a year to get better because I don’t think it will ever be “better” or that I will ever get “better”. I will miss Steve for the rest of my life. We had something special that I don’t have any more. I don’t get over that. It cannot be replaced. My friend Carole Lilly Jones said to me – most of our families of origin and friends are dead. Yet, for some reason, we are still alive. Go live. Yes, I am alive. I am going to go live. Now, I am not sure what that means just yet, so I will keep on keeping on. Keep showing up – for my walks, for coffee in the Park, for groceries, for lunch with friends, for doctor appointments….
So far, everything is painful and disorienting – without a finish line. But, I already feel my moods and emotions shift and change. Highs, then lows. Laughter, then tears. Anger, fear, peace, joy, guilt, confusion. I don’t believe in “closure”. Grief is a part of love, and love evolves. Acceptance is not final. It shifts around, changing often during the day. This is a poem that spoke to me today when I read it – it came on a card in the mail from our friends in Sarasota…
“Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow, I am the diamond glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there; I did not die.” – Mary Frye (Thank you, Carole and Cliff)
Below are some selfies and other pictures we or I took during this year in France. Each day was sheer delight. And, those who knew Steve KNOW he hated having his picture taken. Love that guy!
He fought a good fight. He so wanted to live. I will miss him forever.