My husband was a warrior. I would tease him that in a previous life, he had to have been a general in the Roman army who had so many successful campaigns that he was given a governorship of one of the states conquered by Rome where he spent the rest of his days being fed peeled grapes by beautiful slave girls.
In fact, his battle against pancreatic cancer which had metastasized to his liver, was fought heroically and as only a warrior would.
I had a wonderful support system and have not had to face his death alone. Although Hilary Clinton popularized the African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” I think it takes a village or community to do everything in life from raising a child to burying a member.
I wonder how people who do not have this support system are able to deal with the death of a spouse. It is quite overwhelming. Not the least being that all of a sudden you are facing life alone. In spite of the fact that I married late in life and so had lived life “alone” for quite a few years before meeting Eric, it still feels alone when a spouse dies.
Grief is funny. It comes out of unexpected corners and strikes without concern of time, place or circumstances. For example, I was at the circuit court to register the will and, of course, they asked me for money in order to take the will. I pulled out the checkbook and found that I would be writing the last check with both our names on it. That just did me in and for the rest of the week, I was terribly weepy.
As I said, Eric and I married late in life. I decided early on that I would not marry young. I feared that I was not mature enough and hated the thought that I would be involved in a divorce with children. Or maybe I was just waiting for Eric to come into my life. I have had enough experience to know that there is never just one angle/answer to any situation and often our limited perspectives overshadow what really may be going on.
We were together for 21 years, which is astounding to me. It does not seem as though it was that long.
I do not see his death as a loss. I mean, yes I miss his every day presence in my life, but I also continue to feel his presence. I think about him all the time and really enjoy thinking about him all the time. Maybe the pain and suffering he went through towards the end allowed both of us the ability to let go. But I also believe that there is more to life than the one we accept as reality. For some, it would be referred to as an after life, or heaven (no doubt that is where he ended up), or going from the third dimension to the fourth dimension. I take comfort in the belief that this was not our first time together and will not be our last time together.
I really enjoyed our life together. He was a unique personality and very, very smart. He was kind, sensitive and generous. and, oh yes, one of the most courageous individuals I had ever met. We both held strong spiritual values, wanted to serve humanity, had a love of travel, and intellectually stimulated each other. Yes, sometimes we did get on each other’s nerves. Not often, though.
Since there is nothing permanent in life, since, as a friend of ours is fond of saying, “None of us is gettin’ outta here alive!” what is left is a feeling of gratefulness, a feeling of having been blessed to have spent the time that I did with my extra-ordinary husband.