Have you noticed that on soap operas, no one stays dead? People come back, even if they were shown dying on screen. They always seem to eventually come back and no one really loses the ones they love.
One of the shows I watch has a character coming back. It is so nice for the other characters – the spouse, the children, and friends, etc. They are stunned but still get their person back. I have to say that I wish that was possible.
Sadly, we who have lost loved ones cannot get them back. When they go, they are gone to another place. As much as we don’t want to accept it, there is no way for them to come back. If only that were different.
I wish I had another chance to say goodbye to my late husband, to hold his hand, to talk with him, or to share a laugh. I wish he could see our son grow up — in person I mean. We do, after all, believe that he is always with us. Still, it isn’t the same.
So, as I watch these episodes, I cry for what I wish were actually possible. I cry because a part of me is jealous that they get to do something that I can’t. Yet, I still want to watch and see what happens. I enjoy seeing the happiness. I look forward to the news traveling around town. So I watch with both emotions.
My late husband died suddenly so there was no time to plan for his loss. There was no gathering around the bed to say goodbye. No final words of wisdom to our son. No chance for one last story or laugh or hug.
On the other hand, he didn’t suffer at all. He is no longer in pain and will never have any health issues again. As hard as it has been, that is a blessing. He is in a better place; but I do wish he was still with us.
In the years since his death, I have gone through several stages of grief. I haven’t had much anger, but I do have a lot of questions. And, I have guilt. I feel bad about the disagreements that we had before his passing. We were both strong with our own opinions so this did happen. I hope that he knew how much I loved him and how much others loved him. I believe that he did, but doubts do creep in sometimes.
I also question if I was truly a good partner to him during our years together. Sometimes I let the little annoyances get to me and I am sorry for that. I hope that he’d forgive me where I may have failed him. I have tried to forgive him too and not be angry at him. That is part of the grieving process, which I am still in.
Other guilt I have is survivor guilt. I had to say goodbye when I didn’t want to. I had to be with our son on the day he passed rather than staying with his body until it was moved. I have had to move forward and keep living. There is still some guilt for doing that. And yet, I know it was what I had to do. Such an odd combination of feelings.
We are the ones still here. As much as I want to fight it, he is not. We have had to find a way to carry on. We have to find a way to live. I have to find a way to be there for our son. I have to be there for myself and take care of my health and mental health.
I have heard people say that I could never live without my mate. I was forced to do just that. I didn’t want to and it wasn’t what we’d planned, but I have now lived without him. I have survived. We have carried on. We are living again. I never knew I had that strength until it was there. Prayers, our faith, our family and friends, our neighborhood, our schools, and church family helped us through it.
My son lost his father, I lost my spouse. But his parents lost a son, his siblings lost a brother, his aunts and uncles lost a nephew, his in-laws lost an in-law, cousins lost a cousin, and friends lost a friend. We were all blessed to have known him. He was a lot of fun, made us laugh, was great at his job, was complex, and full of life.
He is not the only person who I have lost. Friends and family who are dear to me have also passed away. Those losses have been hard as well. Also, my friends and family have lost ones they love. My thoughts and prayers are with them. I know the pain they feel but realize that everyone has his/her own journey of loss and grief.
My prayer for those grieving is that you be comforted by memories of your loved one. I also pray that you can smile and laugh at a happy memory along with the tears. I pray that you have support from others. I pray that your faith comforts you during this hard time. Blessings to you.
I also pray that we can let others know that they matter and that we love them. Let’s apologize if we need to, let’s mend fences, let’s say what we want to, let’s forgive, let’s share, let’s talk, let’s laugh, let’s love. Let’s do it before we no longer can.