Friday, April 26, 2024

Grief and Gratitude

As I write these words, today is day 116 since my husband passed away. I’ve felt particularly sad and lonely today, which happens when I stay home all day and don’t keep busy, busy, busy. Obviously, activities and conversations mask the grief. But, oh my, I feel the full force of it when I’m alone and not focusing on projects and other tasks on my to-do list. But sometimes I have no choice but to let my tired body rest.

To escape the grief, I went to visit a friend in a nearby nursing home. She was delighted to see me, for she deals with griefs of her own. I was happy to be with her. We talked of many things as we sat outside while relaxing in the sunshine and listening to the birds chirping as they flew among the branches of the trees and boxwoods.

When I returned home, I noticed the first rose of the season on the bush my husband had planted years ago. My heart filled with happiness when I saw it, thankful that the work he had done long ago was lifting my spirits. I looked around the yard and saw not one, but two, pink and white amaryllis blooms--bigger than my palm--with other buds in the background. Once again, I felt grateful for his planting them.

As with most things these days, even a happy thought of days gone by can lead to tears as I realize those days are gone. He will plant no more flowers. But I can enjoy the ones he planted, even as I brush away the tears

Every day, I see other gifts he left behind, each a reminder of his love. And I whisper a heartfelt thank you to him and to God who gave us many years together as husband and wife, years when we made wonderful, now bittersweet, memories.

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